THE VOLCANIC EXPLANATION:
There have been three major swarms of hybrid earthquakes from underneath the dome of the Soufriere Hills Volcano in the last 24 hours. This is coupled with rapid dome growth with an extrusion rate of about 8 cubic metres per second.
There have been numerous rockfalls and within the next few days it is expected there will be major pyroclastic flows from the dome area. The new dome itself is thought to be very unstable and may well collapse.
There was no ash monitoring yesterday as the instruments were being callibrated, however Sundays figures were extremely low.
Due to heavy overnight rain there was some mudflows down many of the ghauts in the exclusion zone, everyone should keep clear of these areas.
PHASED VOLUNTARY EVACUATION SCHEME:
It is reported that 4040 persons have so far registered for the phased voluntary evacuation scheme. Of these 1637 have actually left the island.
In a related matter, a 757 jet has been chartered from Antigua to London on November 6th to carry the special needs cases who have registered under the scheme to Britain.
Meantime official Immigration Dept figures show a net loss of 2501 residents in the period June 25th to the present.
The Statistics Dept will later this week issue the official population figures for Montserrat following their ongoing head count.
CONCERN OVER RESIDENTS RETURNING TO SALEM:
There has been concern expressed at the number of residents returning to Salem and other areas in the exclusion zone. All areas south of the line from Nantes River to Pelican Ghaut were placed in the exclusion zone on August 16th 1997.
All such areas have been totally evacuated and residents relocated north of this line. No cars are allowed into the zone past the single manned checkpoint but it is thought that residents are finding ways in which to walk into the zone.
Head Scientist at the MVO Dr Keith Rowley has reiterated how dangerous all areas of the exclusion zone are.
PHILATELIC BUREAU MOVES NORTH:
The Montserrat Philatelic Bureau is another of the local institutions that have moved north. They are now situated in the Sweeneys area on the road fom Cable and Wireless to the St Johns Hospital. Their telephone number is 664 491 2996.
Following heavy overnight rain there have been more mud flows especially in the exclusion zone. The recent flows have prevented the block making plant at M.S. Osborne Ltd from being taken out of the Lovers Lane site as access to the site is now almost impossible.
MSS STUDENTS TO MEET SCIENTISTS:
The first and second formers of the Montserrat Secondary School (MSS) will meet with scientists from the MVO tomorrow to hear at first hand the latest information on the volcano. Other forms will have similar opportunities next week.
More information tomorrow....................................
Government Information Service