I have seen many pretty cool naturally occurring things in my travels that would fit this week’s photo challenge (Forces of Nature) and one of the sadder ones I’ve seen is in Montserrat. An island that once thrived in the international music scene, it ran full tilt into the face of two forces of nature. The first one was the 1989 Hurricane Hugo, which with its Category 4 strength, wiped out much of the island’s infrastructure. And then in 1995, the island’s volcano blew its top. Soufrière Hills Volcano totally destroyed Plymouth, the capital of the island, by burying it under more than 39ft of pyroclastic flows. The airport and docking facilities were also destroyed. In 1995, Montserrat’s population was about 14,000. Today, the population is about 6000 as the other 8000 or so were relocated to the UK because about two-thirds of the island had been placed under an exclusion zone order. The order is still in place today as the volcano is still periodically active (the last significant time was in 2010). It is forbidden to enter the exclusion zone area unless you’re with a licensed guide. This photo was taken in the exclusion zone at the old golf club and the volcano is prominent in the background. It was eerie, fascinating, and sad all at the same time.