Government Information Service

The EOC Today
For Tuesday September 30, 1997
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO.


The explosive phase of the eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano continues with three explosions since yesterday afternoon. They occurred at 5 pm and 9.53 pm yesterday and at 4.44 am this morning. This means that the explosions are now about 5 hours apart - a much shorter time than previously.

The explosions and subsequent pyroclastic flows produced ash plumes which rose to heights of between 7000 and 10000 feet. The ash was blown northwards and westwards by the prevailing winds. There was a period of ash and steam venting following each of the explosions.

There have been pumice flows over the last few days and the majority of these have gone down Tar River Valley, Tuitt's Ghaut, Upper Tyer's Ghaut and the White River.

Overnight there have been a number of volcano-tectonic and hybrid earthquakes recorded by the seismic networks associated with the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO).

Further explosions and resulting pyroclastic flows are likely to impact the Belham River Valley and anyone living close to these areas are being urged to move.

The majority of Montserrat is covered by ash and everyone is being urged to wear their dust masks and to drive carefully as roads are quite hazardous.


The two young people named by the National Youth Council of Montserrat to attend the Commonwealth Youth Forum (CYF) to be held in Edinburgh, Scotland next month are 22 years old Lyndon Kirwan and 23 years old Meredith Lynch. They will spend a total of three weeks in the United Kingdom to get an insight into local youth affairs as well as attending the forum.


Yesterday there was a ground breaking ceremony at the Look- Out site (close to St Johns) where the Brown and Root housing project will enter its second phase. At the Look-Out site around 200 concrete houses will be constructed by the company using local contractors in an area close to the new Look-Out School. Roads and utilities have already been installed at the site.


The Royal Montserrat Police Force is enforcing the curfew in the exclusion zone. There should now be no one living in the zone which is south of a line from Nantes River (in the west) to Pelican Ghaut (in the east). The curfew is from 6 pm to 6 am each day, any remaining residents are being urged to come out today and take up shelter space at Look-Out and Mongo Hill. No one should enter the exclusion zone at any time as the area is extremely dangerous.


Following three fires in recent weeks caused by LPG cooking gas bottles, Montserrat's Fire Chief Mr Basil Walters is warning residents not to tamper with the heads of the bottles as this could be very dangerous. Some new bottles brought on island recently have different types of heads for attachment of gas lines and people have been trying to adapt the heads using existing fittings. Mr Walters reminds everyone that the correct fittings should be used.


An article written by Darcus Howe (a Trinidadian living in London) in the September 26th edition of the New Statesman Magazine published in Britain is causing some consternation in Montserrat. The article suggests that the Foreign Office in Britain should totally evacuate Montserrat and that Montserratians should be told of this unequivocally.

It must be pointed out that these are the opinions of the writer only and do not represent the views of the Montserrat or British Governments.


Cable TV of Montserrat is back in full service after some technical problems over the weekend. Severe ash falls caused a piece of equipment to burn out and after its replacement only the subscribers in the north of the island continued to receive a signal. Technicians discovered that ash had caused further damage to equipment in the Olveston area and finally found the fault after an extensive line search in the area on Sunday morning. All service was restored by Sunday lunchtime and special thanks must be given to staff for working in the very ashy conditions to find and rectify the fault.

In addition the management and staff of Cable TV must be thanked for providing Channel 5 of their system to allow residents of the Central Zone to hear ZJB Radio broadcasts.


The Montserrat Water Authority (MWA) is advising customers in St Johns that they might experience low pressure or no water at all for some periods due to demands on the water system in the area. The MWA is doing everything in its power to ensure adequate supplies of water for all consumers in the central and northern zones.

More information tomorrow...................................

The EOC Information Unit, St Johns, Montserrat, West Indies.
Tel 664 491 7166 Fax 664 491 2474 E Mail:
Richard Aspin, Information Co-ordinator.

Government Information Service