Government Information Service

The EOC Today
For Monday October 20, 1997
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO.


The explosive sequence of events at the Soufriere Hills Volcano has continued and there have now been 71 explosions since September 22nd.

The latest two events happened at 9.30 pm last night (Sunday) and again at 5.05 am this morning. The ashcloud from the explosions and the resulting pyroclastic flows reached heights of approx 18,000 feet but prevailing winds blew them clear of Montserrat.

The pyroclastic flows went down the Gages Valley and across the Farrell's Plain. There was again seismic tremor following the explosions with ash venting that could be clearly heard as a jetting noise at the MVO on Mongo Hill.

Further explosions are expected - there is no regular pattern at the moment so they could occur at any time.


Montserrat's Chief Minister, Hon David S. Brandt will travel to England later this week to meet with the British Government's International Development Committee inquring into the current situation in Montserrat. Mr Brandt met with the committee when they visited Montserrat last week but was not given enough time to present the case for Montserrat. He will appear before the committee at the British Houses of Parliament in London. The committee is due to present its report in Britain next month. DUMPED FOOD REPORT INVESTIGATED:

It has been reported by ZJB Radio that there is to be an investigation of reports that some food stored at the ESU has been dumped in the ocean after it was discovered that it had been affected by fungus. Before the advent of food vouchers some food was distributed to residents of shelters.


Another shipment of hard hats including children's sizes have been ordered by the Aid Management Office (AMO). When they arrive on island every remaining resident who has not been issued with a hat previously will be issued one by the EOC.


Commencing later this week an outreach programme by the scientists at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) and officials from the EOC will incorporate students of the Montserrat Secondary School (MSS).

All students of the school will be exposed to lectures on the current state of the volcano, the safety and health aspects associated with the volcano and will be issued with a copy of the new risk map.

The scientists at the MVO have, during the life of the volcano, spoken at 30 public meetings, met with teachers and students at all schools, met with various sectors of the community and organised three public lectures in association with the University of the West Indies. All this as part of their public outreach programme.


The Royal Montserrat Defence Force (RMDF) is currently constructing and erecting three wooden classroom blocks at a site at Brades, close to the Brades Primary School which is currently being used as a shelter. The classrooms should be completed by the end of this week and education authorities are hoping to start primary classes next Monday, October 27th.


With the continued closure of W.H. Bramble Airport access to and from Montserrat is by helicopter and ferry.

The helicopter service is booked at Montserrat Aviation Services (MAS) telephone number 664 491 2533. The helicopter service leaves Antigua at 7.30 am and 4.30 pm for Montserrat (check in at Carib Aviation Services at the V.C. Bird International Airport one hour before) and in the opposite direction at 8 am and 5 pm (check in at the Geralds Heliport one hour before). Please note that the helicopter can not carry large luggage, only provides stand-by seats and does not operate on Wednesdays.

Passengers with luggage should use the ferry which leaves Little Bay for Antigua at 8 am each day (check in one hour before). In the opposite direction it leaves Heritage Quay in St Johns at 4 pm with an additional sailing on Mondays only at 6.30 am (check in one hour before for all sailings). Travel time on the ferry is one hour but it does not operate on Sundays. Ferry tickets can be purchased in advance at Carib World Travel in Antigua and at MAS in Montserrat.

Fares are ferry EC$150 return, helicopter EC$178 return.

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