THE VOLCANIC EXPLANATION:
Over the last 24 hours, the seismic activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano has been at a low level. There has been only an occasional small hybrid earthquake, however there were some rockfall signals. It is thought that these are being produced on the new dome above Galways although there is unstable material off the old dome on all sides of the volcano.
The unstable material could collapse at any time, according to MVO scientists, causing pyroclastic flows to travel down any of the ghauts on the flanks of the volcano. For this reason all areas in the exclusion zone are at risk and should be kept clear of at all times.
The helicopter operating the Antigua to Montserrat service is down for repairs. For this reason the service has been suspended and passengers are being urged to take the ferry. For emergencies the smaller helicopter contracted to the MVO is flying between the two islands.
CARICOM VILLAGE UPDATE:
The CARICOM village which will be sited in the Davy Hill area will comprise 24 prefabricated houses. The housing units have been ordered by CARICOM in Cuba and will be shipped to Montserrat in the near future. Meantime the site plan for the village has been completed and currently the costings for developing the site are being completed.
DAVY HILL PACKAGE SEWAGE TREATMENT PLANT:
The package sewage treatment plant for the housing units at Davy Hill and the CARICOM village has been installed and currently the treated water output pipe is being installed. The clean output water is to be piped to Carr's Bay where a bore hole has been dug for drainage purposes.
On its completion a representative from the Caribbean Environmental Health Institute (CEHI) will be on island to help commission the plant. The St Lucia based CEHI has already visited the island to approve the plant and when it is up and running it will be maintained by the Montserrat Water Authority and monitored by the Government's Environ- mental Health Unit.
ROYAL MONTSERRAT DEFENCE FORCE RECRUITING:
The Royal Montserrat Defence Force is currently recruiting new full time members to the force. Applicants must be Commonwealth citizens and anyone interested should contact the Commanding Officer of the force, Major Joseph Lynch at 664 491 7147.
The Montserrat Tourist Board is currently designing what are described as "Adventure Tourism" packages for the island. In the marketplace it has been discovered that there is an increasing demand for this type of tourism and this follows on to last year's visit of a cruise ship on a regular basis to Montserrat so that passengers could view a live volcano.
Anyone interested should contact the Director of Tourism, Ernestine Cassell at the Montserrat Tourist Board in Mayfield Estate, Olveston, Montserrat (Telephone 664 491 2230).
C.M. MEETS WITH INSURANCE COMPANIES:
Montserrat's Chief Minister, Mr David S. Brandt is meeting this afternoon with representatives of all the Insurance Companies in Montserrat. The meeting is to discuss the speedy settlement of insurance claims for property owners in Montserrat who have lost or had damage to property due to the volcanic crisis.
Insurance companies have claimed they are having problems in settling claims because insurance adjusters employed by them have been unable to access the exclusion zone to check on the damage or destruction.
This afternoon's meeting will also focus on insurance for property in the north of Montserrat and how this will affect the five year sustainable development plan for Montserrat.
More information tomorrow..................................