Government Information Service

Press Update on Relocation Response - Montserrat
6 December 1995

The Government of Montserrat is concerned for the safety of residents who have chosen to remain in the designated unsafe zone. Montserrat's Governor, His Excellency Frank Savage says the number is small but "everything must be done to encourage them to leave."

The Government of Montserrat ordered a relocation of the island's southern half from Long Ground in the east to the capital, Plymouth on the west coast on Friday, December 1, 1995. Governor Savage says plans are moving ahead for the establishment of permanent shelters to independently house one thousand people in the north. He believes however that "while the current shelters do not offer the comforts of home they are adequate under the circumstances." Relocated persons are living mainly in community centres, churches, schools and as guests in private homes in the north. Shelter facilities were upgraded since the first relocation to the north in August, 1995.

The Government is again satisfied with how the relocation of thousands of residents to the safe zone was undertaken. The co-operation and response of the people in general have been highlighted along with the work of volunteers. Among these are non-Montserratian residents, mainly retirees from North America living in the island's upscale realty zone of Isle's Bay Hill, Old Towne, Olveston and Woodland's.

Governor Savage has described the relocation which was undertaken over two days as "orderly". There has been one major traffic accident to date. This occurred on Tuesday, December 5, 1995 when a minor was hit by a moving vehicle in a road crossing mishap. The child has been taken by air-ambulance to neighboring Antigua for medical attention. Montserrat's lone hospital is working out of temporary facilities in the north.

The some four thousand (4,000) people relocated from the southern half of Montserrat are expected to stay in the north of the island for up to four weeks. Most of the island's major businesses have also established outlets in the designated safe area as they prepare for the extended stay in the north.

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