THE VOLCANIC EXPLANATION:
The activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano over the weekend was at a low level. The October 22nd dome has however enlarged considerably and is now filling at least half the explosion crater. The extrusion rate is estimated at approx 8 cubic metres per second. The new dome is very blocky and is dark grey in colour, it now stands about 80 metres higher than the N.E. edge of the explosion crater. This new growth is overspilling the crater edge and falling towards Tuitt's Ghaut in the form of rockfalls.
Over the weekend there were a number of earthquake signals from the seismic station, these included hybrid, long period and volcano tectonic earthquakes.
Ash sampling continued over the weekend and results show that ash levels are low at the moment.
The rockfalls are expected to increase in size as the new dome gets bigger, these could lead to pyroclastic flows which could impact all areas of the exclusion zone.
C.M. & MINISTER OF COMMUNICATIONS & WORKS IN U.K.
The Chief Minister of Montserrat, Hon David S. Brandt and the Minister of Communications and Works Hon Rupert Weekes are in England for official visits. Mr Brandt will appear before the International Development Committee of the British House of Commons who are currently investigating the volcanic crisis here.
Later in the week Mr Brandt and Mr Weekes will meet with several Montserratian groups in England to discuss the ongoing volcanic situation and the plans for the future.
MORE SHELTER ACCOMMODATION COMPLETED:
Several more T1-11 style dormitory buildings have been completed at Manjack where several of these types of buildings were previously sited. In addition another two are being constructed at Davy Hill. As residents move into these buildings it is hoped to empty several of the school shelters so that the buildings can be returned to their original use.
HOUSING COMMITTEE MEETS:
The Housing Allocation Committee is meeting throughout this week to decide who will be the first occupants of new housing at Davy Hill. The 50 units at the Davy Hill site were completed last week and handed over to Government. The units were prefabricated and erected by Brown & Roots. It is hoped that persons in shelter the longest will be given first preference for the new housing.
HOT MIX PLANT ON ISLAND:
All the component parts of the new hot mix plant are now on island and the Public Works Dept (PWD) now awaits a representative of the manufacturers from England to erect and commission the plant which will be sited at Brades.
VOLCANO MANAGEMENT SUPPORT GROUP TO BE RESTRUCTURED:
The VMSG is to be restructured. The forum brings together Heads of Sections in Government, the utilities, Statutory Bodies, the Aid Management Office as well as the Ministers of Government and the Governor. The group has met once a week throughout the life of the crisis to plan and implement projects.
In the new arrangement smaller working groups will be set up in a number of areas and only the chirperson of these groups will attend and report to the VMSG.
This is part of the streamlining of the response agencies working in the volcanic crisis.
There have been some improvements at the Gerald's Heliport and more are underway. A new hard surface has been laid down so that the helicopters have a firmer surface to land on. In addition this helps to keep down ash levels and also prevents mud affecting the underside of the helicopters in rainy periods.
In addition, MONLEC are this week putting the final touches to burying high voltage cables underground. The cables previously ran across the perimeter of the heliport and could have caused danger to approaching air traffic.
More information tomorrow....................................
Government Information Service