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8/01/2008

Montserrat volcano collapses

Montserrat, Caribbean

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico: A dome over the crater of Montserrat's volcano has partially collapsed, spewing ash an estimated 40,000 feet (12 kilometers) into the Caribbean sky, scientists said Tuesday.

The collapse sent bursts of volcanic material sweeping into the abandoned former capital of Plymouth, which was buried in a 1997 eruption that killed 19 people, and on into the sea, according to the observatory.

Stewart said the dome of the Soufriere Hills volcano is expected to crumble further, leading to more explosions and lava flows.

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