Montserrat Today

For Friday November 07, 1997
Presented by the Information and Education Unit
of Montserrat's Emergency Department


In the last 24 hours there was the second dome collapse of the week at the Soufriere Hills Volcano. Once again it was down the White River Valley and pyroclastic flows reached the sea.

Hybrid earthquake swarms and high amplitude tremor dominated the seismic system for most of the reporting period.

It was observed that as pyroclastic flows went down the White River large rockfalls also went down the Tar River Valley and Gages Ghaut. Ash clouds reached to 15,000 feet and drifted westwards.

The dome yesterday was extremely clear and the best possible views obtained, a GPS survey was carried out and the results will be known within a few days.

The dome is currently about 80 million cubic metres and it is thought that it will continue to collapse over the next few days - this could possibly lead to further explosions.

Ash levels in the atmosphere are low at present with about 50 micrograms per cubic metre at the present time.

(Note: The Volcano this week will be published on Monday)


The present shelter population in Montserrat is 783 persons out of a total population of 4000 persons currently on island.


Firemen from Kent, West Sussex and Hampshire (England) Fire Brigades are currently on island to conduct Search & Rescue training. The 4 instructors will carry out a 10 day refresher course for local staff as well as carry out some initial training. This is the second such training session to be carried out during the volcanic crisis. Members of the fire brigade, police and defence force will take part in the training.


Late yesterday afternoon around 200 residents from the Salem area met to demonstrate the closure of the Salem area as part of the exclusion zone. Last week's head count showed that 134 persons were still living in the exclusion zone and earlier in the week H.E. The Governor Anthony Abbott and the Chief Minister Hon. David S. Brandt went on air to ask people to leave. At the time they announced that the exclusion zone would be totally closed off from 6 pm last night.

The demonstrators pushed aside the barrier protecting the exclusion zone and then marched to the Governor's Residence in Woodlands to object to the decision. A meeting with representatives of the group will take place with the Governor at Mc Chesneys this afternoon.


The Carrs Bay to Little Bay Road which is the main access road to Little Bay Jetty is being upgraded. Work on re-concreting the road commenced today and will continue over the weekend and into next week. In a related matter, the engineer to install the new hot mix plant arrives on island next week and the new unit should be up and running by mid December.


The Ministry of Agriculture is currently working on its Agricultural Development Plan which will be the backbone for the future of farming in Montserrat. The plan will be published on its completion.


The vector control teams are visiting households in Montserrat trying to encourage them to get rid of all containers that can hold water and promote mosquito reproduction. Unsealed septic tanks are providing the most difficult, as most people have had to open their tanks to empty them and havn't sealed them back. A public education campaign starts airing on ZJB from next week.


The Glendon Hospital in St Johns has announced that an accident and emergency specialist arrives on island this weekend. In Britain it has been announced that a new health programme manager for Montserrat has been appointed and this person will spearhead the health reform process.


The Commissioner of Police for the Royal Montserrat Police Force, Mr Frank Hooper returns to Britain this weekend at the end of 27 months of service in Montserrat. He is retiring from police service after 32 years and is returning to his native Sussex.

More information Monday......................................

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.