THE VOLCANIC EXPLANATION:
After some 72 hours without an explosion from the Soufriere Hills Volcano, the scientists at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) believe that the explosive sequence of events that started on September 21st has come to an end.
However, there is evidence that as the explosions came to an end the dome started to grow again almost immediately. There is some evidence of a new dome growing within the old dome crater at the rate of about 6 cubic metres per second.
Seismic records show that there have been several hybrid earthquakes overnight which also indicates that there is dome growth. There has also been some vigorous steaming from the crater and the fumeroles on the eastern side of the dome have also been active.
Scientists think that the magma inside the volcano is loosing its gas more easily and can reach the surface without exploding. There have been rockfalls recorded and these can lead to pyroclastic flows as has happened in the past.
Ash sampling carried out yesterday shows that ash levels are currently low. Ash monitoring is carried out at Olveston, Woodlands, St Peters and Mongo Hill.
LIST OF VACANT LAND DRAWN UP:
The Ministry of Agriculture has drawn up a list of all current vacant land in the north of the island. This is in an effort to help in the future development of the northern zone of the island.
PRIMARY SCHOOL RE-OPENING:
The re-opening of Primary School has been put back a further week because of some delays to the building site at Brades where the wooden classrooms are being constructed. The classrooms are expected to be handed over to the Ministry of Education by next Friday October 31st.
SALEM POLICE STATION MOVING:
The last offices from the Salem Police Station are moving today and the facility will then close down as it is in the exclusion zone. The main police station will then be at Rocklands with the Commissioners office, administration and immigration being sited in Woodlands.
SALEM CAMPUS SHELTER IMPROVED:
Some EC$25,000 is being spent to improve conditions at the MSS Salem Campus shelter. The improvements came about on the recommendations of the new internal management committee which now overseas the day to day running of the shelter.
MEETINGS ON SHORTAGES IN THE CIVIL SERVICE:
Several meetings have taken place this week to address the shortages in the Civil Service caused by the continued migration of government employees. Several departments are understaffed and some consolidation is ongoing. With the building of the port-a-cabin government headquarters in the north over the next few weeks it is hoped that the consolidation process will be completed.
The draft document for Operation Exodus has been submitted to the Government of Montserrat for their consideration. Operation Exodus is a tentative plan in case the volcanic situation ever makes life on Montserrat untenable. The plan is never expected to have to be used but it is in the interest of good disaster planning to have such plans in place just in case the volcanic situation deteriorates. Details of the plan are to be made public once it has been accepted by Government.
STATISTICS DEPT TO CARRY OUT POPULATION COUNT:
During the course of this weekend the statistics department is to carry out what is described as "a population count" to determine the exact current population of Montserrat. Enumerators will carry out the exercise over the next two days and the results should be available on Monday.
FERRY SCHEDULE FOR WEEKEND:
The ferry "Antilles Express" will leave Montserat for Antigua at 8 am on Saturday and will have two return trips, leaving Heritage Quay in Antigua at 4 pm on Saturday and at 6.30 am on Monday. The weekend special fare of EC$75 return applies to these sailings for journeys commencing in Montserrat. Details from local agents M.A.S. at 664 491 2533.
More information on Monday..............................
Government Information Service