The economy of Montserrat was severely disrupted by volcanic activity which began in July 1995. Prior to this date, the small island country of 12,000 had an export economy based on agriculture, clothing, electronic parts and plants, with a per capita gross national product of US$3,000 to 8,000.Montserrat had an international reputation as a tourist getaway, and the record producer George Martin established an important recording studio there, Associated Independent Recording. Destroyed by Hurricane Hugo in 1989, the studio was never reestablished; however, Martin subsequently helped found the Montserrat Cultural Centre, which was opened in 2007. Some of the funds were raised in a London concert called "Music for Montserrat" (September 15, 1997).Collapse
A catastrophic eruption of Soufrière Hills in June 1997 closed the W. H. Bramble Airport and seaport at Plymouth, causing further economic and social dislocation. Two-thirds of the inhabitants fled the island. Some beg
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