Government Information Service

The EOC Today
For Thursday October 16, 1997
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO.

Since lunchtime yesterday there have been four explosions from the Soufriere Hills Volcano. They occurred at 2.50 pm and 10.20 pm yesterday and at 2.50 am and 9.30 am this morning.

Ash from the explosions and resulting pyroclastic flows went to heights of up to 12,000 feet with the ash being blown towards the north-east by the prevailing winds.

The pyroclastic flows went down the Gages Valley to Plymouth and the Lower Soufriere, as well as down Tuitt's Ghaut.

Seismicity has been generally low, with only rockfall signals occurring prior to the explosions along with a couple of small volcano-tectonic earthquakes (VT's). In addition there was a recorded regional earthquake in the early hours of this morning.

Scientists are warning that there will be more explosions and that resulting pyroclastic flows can go in any direction from the dome. For this reason there should be no one in any area of the exclusion zone.


The British Government's International Development Committee inquiring into the current situation in Montserrat has several members of the committee in Montserrat today. The committee headed by Mr Bowen Wells (chairman) Conservative MP for Hertford & Stafford has 5 members on island looking at the operations of the EOC, investigating conditions at shelters, looking at sites for future housing, and in addition is meeting with the Governor, H.E. Anthony Abbott, the Chief Minister Hon. David S. Brandt, and former Chief Ministers and members of LEGCO Reuben T. Meade and Bertrand B. Osborne.

The committee will continue its work in Antigua on Friday and Saturday. Their report is expected to be published in November.


Government's Audit Dept has moved its location to Challengers Road in St Johns. This is the road opposite Peter's Bakery close to the St John's hospital site. The telephone number there is 664 491 3460.


Due to heavy sea swells the ferry "Antilles Express" between Montserrat and Antigua has not operated for the last 48 hours. It is hoped that normal services will be resumed tomorrow (Friday).


The Rams Emdee Supermarket situated just south of the Nantes River has closed as a retail outlet because it is in the exclusion zone. It will however, remain open as a wholesale outlet. All other business places south of Nantes River are now closed and many have moved into the northern zone.


The National Development Foundation (NDF) has identified 50 small businesses still operating in Montserrat and is to make every effort to assist them. They are to set up a small business centre in Davy Hill using a combination of relocated buildings from Salem and some new buildings to be locally constructed. The Executive Director of the NDF, Ms Roselyn Cassell outlined her organisation's plans for small business on ZJB radio last night.

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