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Volcanic eruptions on the pristine Caribbean island of Montserrat in the late 1990s have rendered parts of the self-governing British overseas territory partly uninhabitable. Appropriately called “Emerald Isle of the Caribbean", the island state began to be inhabited by English and Irish colonists from St. Kitts in 1632. it became a bone of contention between the British and French who fought for its possession throughout the 18th century. However, Britain succeeded in reclaiming the island in 1783.

The country is struggling to come to terms with the devastation when Soufriere Hills Volcano that sprang to life for the first time in centuries.

Travel overview
It is not difficult to run out of adjectives when attempting to describe the scenic beauty of the pristine Caribbean island of Montserrat. The volcanic island nation, covered with lush tropical forest and black sandy beaches, is the archetypal dream destination for an idyllic holiday.
Tourists visiting Montserrat are delighted to discover that apart from beaches and volcanoes the island has plenty of other attractions too. Eco-tourism is being encouraged in the country. Other attractions in Montserrat include the Montserrat Volcano Observatory, Soufriere Hills Volcano and Chances Peak.

Rendezvous Bay is the only white sand beach in Montserrat. Pelican Point is a paradise for birdwatchers. Tourists can also enjoy a number of exciting beach and water sports.

Capital: Plymouth
Location: Caribbean, island in the Caribbean Sea, southeast of Puerto Rico
Climate: tropical; little daily or seasonal temperature variation
Total Area: 102 sq km
Total Population: 9,538
Population Growth Rate: 1.048%
Sex Ratio: 0.955 male(s)/female
Literacy: 97%
Ethnic Groups: black, white
Languages: English
Time Zone: UTC-4
Currency: East Caribbean dollar (XCD)
Head of Govt.: Chief Minister Lowell Lewis
Major Political Parties: Montserrat Democratic Party or MDP, Movement for Change and Prosperity or MCAP, New People's Liberation Movement or NPLM
Participation in International Organizations: Caricom, CDB, Interpol, OECS, UPU
Major Agricultural Products: cabbages, carrots, cucumbers, tomatoes, onions, peppers; livestock products
Natural Resources & Minerals: NEGL
Industry & Transport: tourism, rum, textiles, electronic appliances
Airports: 2
Railways: 227 km
Roadways: 227 km
Major Trade Partners: US, Antigua and Barbuda, UK, Trinidad and Tobago, Japan, Canada
Exports: $700,000
Imports: $17 million


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