Montserrat Today

For Wednesday November 05, 1997
Presented by the Information and Education Unit
of Montserrat's Emergency Department


The activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano has been dominated by semi-continuous swarm of hybrid earthquakes seperated by short periods of tremor. The swarms are not as intense as they were earlier in the week.

There has been steam and ash venting from the dome and there have been rockfalls and pyroclastic flows down the White River Valley. Ashclouds generated by the pyroclastic flows have reached as high as 10,000 feet and flow material reached the sea at O'Garro's. The flows were a result of dome collapse and continued for about 70 minutes loosing about 2 million cubic metres of material all told.

The volcano is in an extremely dangerous state according to MVO officials and they say that more explosions and pyroclastic flows could happen at any time. Areas such as the Belham River Valley are at risk and everyone should be out of the exclusion zone.


His Excellency the Governor Anthony John Abbott addressed the nation today setting out his vision for Montserrat in the future and reviewing the aid Britain has put into the island since the start of the volcanic crisis.

He told ZJB listeners that he is hopeful that Montserrat will one day resume its former state and that he would do everything in his power to ensure a future for the island.

The radio interview will be repeated several times over the next few days and a filmed version of it will be shown on Channel 5 of Cable TV on Saturday afternoon.


A film showing the current state of the volcano and the damage to various parts of Montserrat by pyroclastic flows which was filmed earlier this week by MVO staff will be shown on local TV this weekend.

Cable TV of Montserrat has announced that it will show the film on Saturday afternoon on Channel 5 at 3 pm and then repeat it on Sunday evening at 5pm. The film will be followed by the interview with the Governor broadcast on ZJB earlier today (see above).


Ms Audrey Mullins of the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA) visited Montserrat yesterday (Tuesday) for an update on the volcanic situation. Whilst here she met with various officials and had discussions about a regular weekly radio spot about Montserrat to be broadcast through the facilities of the Caribbean Broadcast Union (CBU)


Public Works Dept officials worked all night to lower Fogarty's Road and take out some of the steepness of the bends. They started work at 9 pm last night and finished at 5 am this morning. The operation, carried out under flood lights, makes the road easier to handle by the increased traffic using it since the central corridor closed.


There is currently 4,000 gallons of gasolene and 10, 000 gallons of diesel fuel stored at the Carrs Bay Government Fuel Storage facility. Over the last few months Government has been the sole importer of these two fuels. Currently work is ongoing at the facility to bring storage capability to 40,000 gallons of each type of fuel. This work is funded by the Aid Management Office (AMO).

Delivery of both types of fuel are expected later today to increase levels of fuel stocks on the island.


Up to November 1st a total of 4138 persons have registered for the voluntary phased evacuation scheme and of these 1824 have already left island. A chartered 757 jet (chartered by the British Government) will leave Antigua tomorrow evening for Britain carrying all the sick and special needs persons and their families who have registered under the scheme. There will be a special sailing of the ferry tomorrow to get the charter passengers to Antigua.


Police authorities have announced that they have a new police vessel on order. When it is delivered in December it will augment the MV Shamrock which is already in service. The new vessel will have better inshore capabilities than Shamrock and will be able to make higher speeds.

More information tomorrow...................................

Presented by the Information & Education Unit, Emergency Dept
St Johns Village, Montserrat, Leeward Islands, West Indies.
Tel 664 491 7166, Fax 664 491 2474, E Mail:
Richard Aspin, Unit Co-ordinator.