Montserrat Today

For Tuesday November 25, 1997
Presented by the Information and Education Unit
of Montserrat's Emergency Department


The level of seismicity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano over the last 24 hours has been very similar to that of yesterday. There has been nearly 200 hybrid earthquakes as well as some long period events and rockfall signals.

Visibility of the dome yesterday was poor because of the low cloud cover but it is assumed that the dome is still growing and this means that pyroclastic flows are still a possibility. These could flow down any of the ghauts on the flanks of the volcano.


Montserrat was represented at a workshop "Health Crisis and the Internet" an international meeting on harnessing the internet for disasters and epidemics. The meeting last week in Bogota, Columbia was attended by Dr Vernon Buffong the island's dental surgeon.

The workshop was a forum for agencies and countries to explore and make recommendations on internet utilisation in public health crisis management and its use in disaster reduction and the detection and control of epidemics.


In a press statement released to coincide with the handing over on Friday of the houses constucted at Davy Hill by Brown & Root, project manager for the company in Montserrat Mr Leo Bedford said that the company was delighted that they had been able to deliver the first 50 homes within budget and in a timely manner.

Brown & Root are also managing the construction of a further 50 concrete block houses which are being built at Lookout Yard and these homes are expected to be completed by January 1998.

Since its arrival on island, the company has been working closely with the Government of Montserrat and local consultants to determine the most appropriate housing requirements for the island.


Several radio programmes on ZJB have been discussing the problems of the temporary landfill site at Little Bay. Last night the Hon. Minister of Communications and Works, Rupert Weekes explained that the dump will be moved from Little Bay to the site at New Windward as soon as possible.

The new site will need some access roads cut into the area before the site can be used but it is hoped that these will be installed very shortly.


A group of Montserratian calypsonians are planning a pre-Christmas tour of the New York area. The group of eight calypsonians will appear at a concert being sponsored by the Montserrat Progressive Society of New York. The group are hoping to raise funds to help Montserratian calypsonians who have lost their homes due to the volcano.


The Governor of Montserrat, H.E. Anthony Abbott went on air last night to address the nation in the programme "GIS This Week".

Mr Abbott answering questions posed by GIS Officer Herman Sergeant said that Montserrat is dealing with the problems caused by the volcano as there is a strong nucleus of people in Montserrat re-building the nation with the help of the British Government. Pointing out that the infrastructure in the north of the island needs re-building, the Governor said that much of the British Aid monies over the past two years have been spent on infrastructual development such as gas, water and electrical supply, communications systems such as roads, ferry and helicopter services, and the scientific monitoring of the volcano.

Mr Abbott admitted that it is very frustrating when approval for projects can take so long but he now felt that housing construction was on track and that other projects were also approved. He reported that the health project manager will shortly be in place to assist in establishing a plan for medical care on the island.

The Governor also explained that the physical land planning project and the 5 year sustainable development plan were both very important to Montserrat's future. He also reported that Civil Servants should have a substantial pay increse for 1998.

The Governor explained that so far Britain has spent 45 million in the volcanic crisis in the form of:-

  1. Emergency Aid
  2. Longer term developmental aid
  3. Budgetary aid to the Government of Montserrat.

The programme "GIS This Week" is aired by ZJB every Monday evening, repeated on Tuesday morning.

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.