Government Information Service

The EOC Today
For Tuesday October 07, 1997
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO.


In the last 24 hours there have been two more explosions from the Soufriere Hills Volcano bringing the total number to 39 overall in the current sequence of events.

The first explosion in this reporting period happened at around 6 pm last night and resulting pyroclastic flows went into the Gages Valley, Tuitt's Ghaut, the Tar River Valley, Tyer's Ghaut and over the Farrell's plane. Resulting ashclouds reached up to 18,000 feet and light ash fell throughout the entire island. The second explosion happened at a little after 4 am this morning, but due to rain at the time it was impossible to measure the height of the ashcloud produced. It is thought that the pyroclastic flows from this event went in a similar direction to those of yesterday.

The heavy rain this morning helped to dampen down much of the ash of recent days but ash levels are still high and everyone is urged to continue to wear their dust masks.


The Government of Montserrat with help from Her Majesty's Government (HMG) is planning to make available a maximum of EC$150,000 in low interest loans to individuals.

The programme will start by the end of this month and will help persons to (a) purchase land (b) finish existing structures (c) start new structures.

Persons who have resided in the declared exclusion zone or the central zone qualify for the programme. The loans will be offered through the Bank of Montserrat.


It is reported that 3500 persons have now registered for the scheme and that approx 1400 persons have now left under the scheme since its inception.

Under the scheme, persons who register to go to England are given a local purchase order to buy their ticket and are asked if they have someone to stay with on arrival and for how long.

On arrival a help desk has been set up at the two major London airports and staff there will help Montserratians with their onward travel arrangements to stay with their hosts.The accommodation requirements are then passed on to the appropriate local authority who will then have sufficient time to find housing as required. This allows Montserratians to stay with their family and friends when they first arrive but still be provided with accommodation in the longer term.

If persons travelling to England do not have accommodation the help desk will assist in finding everyone somewhere to stay. Persons travelling under the scheme are being urged to travel on a weekday as the help desk does not open on weekends.


The Montserrat Secondary School (MSS) has called for all second form students to report for school tomorrow at the Brades Pentechostal Church and all first form students to report on Thursday.

Third, Fourth and Fifth Form students have already started their classes at the Church site.


The recent British health committee chaired by Sir Kenneth Calman that visited Montserrat has recommended a new health care system for the island. The report, published in London yesterday, states:

(1) A new model of health care system should be developed for the residents of Montserrat, which is based on health needs and provises high quality standards of care;

(2) A comprehensive health needs assessment should be carried out, prioritising vulnerable groups and involving residents of the island. The assessment will provide direction for the development of an appropriate model of health care for the island;

(3) A comprehensive system of primary care should be developed with strong emphasis on developing the role of nurses, particularly in public health, and using protocols of care for chronic disease management;

(4) Service level agreements should be drawn up with providers of health care on neighbouring islands. Arrange- ments should also be made with individual practitioners for services on the island (MORE ON THE REPORT'S RECOMMENDATIONS TOMORROW)


The Heliport at Gerald's Park is now open as normal and all helicopter services are back to operating from there. Late last week ash levels at the Heliport caused flights to operate from the port at Little Bay.

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