Montserrat Today

For Tuesday November 11, 1997
Presented by the Information and Education Unit
of Montserrat's Emergency Department


In the last 24 hours at the Soufriere Hills Volcano there have been over 400 hybrid earthquakes, 27 long period events and over 20 rockfall signals. This morning seismicity has decreased and the instruments at the MVO are the quietest they have been for some days.

It has not been possible to see the dome over the last couple of days because of low cloud cover but it is expected that the dome will have grown since it was last seen. The main activity has been over Galways which has experienced several rockfalls and pyroclastic flows.

Ash levels are low at the moment, over the last 24 hours the ash in the atmosphere ranged between 13 and 18 micrograms per cubic metre depending upon the site the measurements were taken in.


According to a GIS release, consultations on the physical development plan for the north continue this week. The physical planning unit has announced a series of meetings starting tomorrow at the Salem Campus of the Montserrat Secondary School.

Other public meetings to discuss the document are scheduled for Brades Pentechostal Church on Thursday and in St Johns and St Peters next week. In addition, an open forum similar to one held last Wednesday at McChesney's is planned for December 3rd before the final draft document is presented to the Government.

Chief physical planner Alan Gunne-Jones says last week's discussion was a success. He says the event was well attended and generated some positive discussions on how the north of Montserrat could be developed. He went on to explain that this can be done in two ways; the extension of existing settlements such as St Peters, Brades and Cudjoe Head or the creation of new areas of development at Little Bay and Look Out.


Britain's phased voluntary evacuation scheme has had 4217 persons registered to leave, of these 1967 persons have already left. The majority of persons have registered to go to Britain.


Following evidence of looting in the exclusion zone, police, helicopter, and marine patrols have been stepped up to attempt to bring to an end the looting spree.

Three men found looting in the zone two weeks ago have been fined and deported. The men, nationals of Dominica, Trinidad and St Lucia entered the area from the sea. They all had warrents for arrest in their native countries and were deported in police custody yesterday. Their boat was confiscated.


Extra fuel storage tanks have been imported to the island and will be installed at the Carr's Bay facility. This brings to 80,000 gallons the ammount of fuel that will be stored at the facility (40,000 gallons of petrol and 40,000 gallons of diesel). A floating hose installation will be installed at Carr's Bay so boats can discharge their fuel from the sea.


Several disaster management officials from Guadeloupe are currently on island meeting with their counterparts in Montserrat to look at the lessons learned in the management of the volcanic crisis.


Sixteen local firemen, police and defence force officials are training this week in advanced search & rescue techniques. The training is being carried out by four British firemen and is organised through British Aid.

The firemen from Kent, West Sussex and Hampshire will carry out 10 days of training for the S & R unit and is a follow up visit to one last year. A number of search and rescue vehicles have been made available to the unit as part of British Aid in the ongoing volcanic crisis.

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.