Government Information Service

The EOC Today
For Monday October 06, 1997
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO.


The explosive eruptions at the Soufriere Hills Volcano continue, in the current sequence lasting for several weeks, there have been 37 explosions. The latest was mid-morning today and this followed one yesterday evening and one in the early hours of this morning.

Following the explosions there was low frequency tremor associated with roaring and vigorous ash and steam venting from the summit crater in the dome.

Ash clouds went as high as 25,000 feet and ash fell over a wide area of Montserrat including the north of the island. Much of the ash is hanging in a cloud off the coast to the north-west of the island.

Associated pyroclastic flows from the explosions have gone into the Gages Valley, White River, and over the northern flanks of the volcano into Tuitt's Ghaut.

Further explosions are expected and these could occur without warning causing pyroclastic flows to be shed down the Belham Valley, everyone should be out of the exclusion zone at this time as these areas are very dangerous.


The Montserrat Secondary School (MSS) will commence its 3rd Form tomorrow (Tuesday October 7) at Brades Pentechostal Church. This means that all 3rd, 4th, and 5th Form students are now back at school at this site. The Church and an adjacent T1-11 building are being used to house the classes. There will be no 6th Form this year in Montserrat and efforts are still being made to find a venue for the 1st and 2nd forms. School buses leave Salem campus of MSS at 7.15 each morning to carry children to school.

As yet there is no Government Primary School in operation but the St Augustine RC School is in operation at Woodlands with approx 90 students.


The Montserrat Electricity Services (MONLEC) is currently recruiting both technical and clerical staff for its generation and administration departments respectively. Applicants should contact the head office in St Johns.

Meantime MONLEC is reporting that there will be power cuts tonight from midnight onwards for about 3 hours to allow maintenance to take place.


The report by the British medical team headed by CMO Sir Kenneth Calman who visited Montserrat has been released in London. The team looked at health facilities and health hazards in Montserrat.

The team warned of poor sanitation that could lead to Denge Fever, the dangers of ash (it could lead to silicosis) a possible TB outbreak and the need to keep the inoculation programme up to date amongst others. More details will be published as they come to hand.


Because of high ash levels at the Gerald's Heliport the helicopter is landing and taking off from the jetty at Little Bay which can be constantly washed off with sea water to keep down the ash. Passengers with helicopter bookings should, until further notice, report at the passenger pavillion at Little Bay for processing for the flight. Incoming passengers from Antigua also land at the Little Bay jetty.


The Government Information Service (GIS) is back in operation from the Chief Minister's Office in Woodlands (Tel: 664 491 3463, Fax: 664 491 6780. All overseas journalists writing about or filming in Montserrat should report there on arrival on island and ask for Mr Herman Sergeant.


The new shelter committee set up by Montserrat's new Governor H.E. Anthony Abbott meets for the first time today. The committee is designed to organise internal shelter committees to manage the shelters themselves and to liase with the new larger outside committee. All this in an effort to improve conditions in shelters.

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