The following is the official statement presented by His Excellency, the Governor Frank Savage regarding the relocation of designated unsafe areas effective 2:00p.m Friday, December 1, 1995.
The situation at Montserrat's Soufriere Hills Volcano has become more serious and it is feared that we are once again faced with a threatening situation.
Scientists of the Montserrat Volcano Observatory had visual confirmation yesterday of a lava dome growing slowly in the July 18th vent of the volcano. Subsequent observations indicate that the chances of an eruption involving this new dome may increase in the next few weeks. Scientists have therefore advised the government that a phased relocation should be implemented as a precaution. Although the chances of an eruption occurring within the next few weeks are low, the consequences would be high because many people are living close to the volcano. The situation continues to be closely monitored by the Montserrat Volcano Observatory and the scientists will continue to update the government as the situation unfolds.
As a result of this situation, the Government has decided to relocate residents from the potential danger zones into safe areas north of the capital, Plymouth. The phased relocation exercise is to be completed by 8p.m. Saturday, December 2, 1995 in the following order based on the current risk assessment.
PHASE ONE Residents of Trant's to Long Ground in the far East and residents of Kinsale south to St. Patrick's. These areas are to be relocated by 8:00pm this Friday evening December 1st, 1995.
PHASE TWO On Saturday, December 2nd, 1995 residents of the central eastern corridor from Gages to Harris' are to be relocated by 8p.m. along with residents of the capital, Plymouth excluding Fox's Bay, Richmond Hill, Weekes', Delvins and Cork Hill.
The situation will be kept under constant review, but the scientists are of the opinion that the current level of activity could last three (3) to four (4) weeks. All residents of the above areas are therefore advised to have their bags packed and be ready to move to the designated shelters.
All roads are open to traffic and motorists are encouraged to take directions as indicated. If you are using your own transport remember your civic responsibility to offer a lift into the safe area. All other persons should report to the nearest EOC pick-up point in your area.
Please be reminded that day time occupation of any area of the designated unsafe area will be restricted to certain essential services.
All residents in Montserrat are advised to stay tuned to Radio Montserrat, ZJB 885AM/92.5FM for up-to-date information and further advice.
Please note that the Relocation Order does not apply to residents of Fox's Bay, Richmond Hill, Weekes', Delvins and Cork Hill and all areas further north. The Montserrat Defence force has been embodied and I have today signed an order declaring a state of emergency in the designated unsafe areas.
Please make sure that your neighbours know about this announcement and do continue listening to ZJB radio for any further updates.