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Hundreds Flee Homes In Second Eruption

Wed., Aug. 6, 1997

Montserrat’s deadly volcano erupted Tuesday for the second straight day, forcing hundreds to flee homes in parts of the Caribbean island previously considered beyond the volcano’s reach.

The volcano hurled a dense column of rocks and ash into the air just before dawn, hours after the government took the precaution of evacuating villages in the heavily populated west-central portion of Montserrat.

Lethal avalanches of searing rock, ash and gas barreled down the volcano’s sides at 100 mph. Pebble-size debris rained down on villages, including Salem, where more than half the 11-mile-long island’s remaining 4,000 residents live.

Residents raced for their cars, jamming the only road north from Salem - and away from the volcano.

It was a repeat of their retreat Monday, when the volcano erupted twice, pummeling the capital city of Plymouth, abandoned to the volcano two years ago.

The city was still burning on Tuesday, its landmark buildings now kindling for the volcanic flows.

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