Montserrat Today

For Thursday November 27, 1997
Presented by the Information and Education Unit
of Montserrat's Emergency Department


The seismic activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano was at a similar level to that of yesterday. There was a small number of long period earthquakes and hybrid earthquakes and over 50 rockfall signals. Some of these rockfalls are going into Tuitt's Ghaut, the Tar River Valley, and in the Galways area.

The lower level of activity over the past few days has allowed some maintenance of equipment at Lees Yard, Old Towne, and St Patrick's. A GPS survey was carried out yesterday at sites at Harris', Windy Hill, Whites and Brodericks. The results of the survey will be available shortly.

The dome continues to grow at a slower rate and ash levels are currently very low in the central and northern zones.


Reuters have reported from London that the British Parliamentary Committee report on the handling of the volcano crisis in Montserrat is, what they describe as "damning". The committee warned that evacuation plans appeared inadequate and conditions at the emergency hospital "degrading".

Reuters said that the report stated "that the responsible authorities had failed to respond coherently in the emergency, blaming a less than happy relationship between the U.K. government and the Government of Montserrat."

The report also said that the committee recommended that Britain should meet the Caribbean economic grouping called CARICOM to discuss the future of Montserrat and help to Montserratians elsewhere in the Caribbean.

The full report is expected in Montserrat later today and as it becomes available "Montserrat Today" will publish sections as space permits.


A delegation representing the Government of St Kitts / Nevis is in Montserrat today to review co-operation between them and Montserrat. The delegation is led by the Hon Minister of Communication & Works for St Kitts / Nevis and much of the discussions will centre around how that Ministry can help in the ongoing volcanic crisis. It is thought that St Kitts have offered the use of heavy equipment to assist PWD projects here.


The Emergency Department is currently emptying two more church shelters in light of the falling numbers of shelterees. The St John's Anglican Church and the Judy Piece Methodist Church will be handed back to church authorities in the next few days. It is also hoped that the Look-Out School can be handed back to the Ministry of Education in the very near future.

Currently (as of last Monday) there are 742 persons in shelter.


Mr John Calderazzo of Colorado, U.S.A. a writer of books about volcanoes visited Montserrat over the past few days to research his new book.

Amongst his many publications is the beautifully illustrated children's book "101 Questions About Volcanoes" which the National Parks Service in the U.S.A. uses as part of its education campaign. Mr Calderazzo left island this morning.


The recently introduced pass system to allow up to 30 persons at a time into the Salem / Old Towne area when volcanic activity is low is working well. Residents are adhering to the regulations that go along with the pass system and a new system for areas farther afield is about to be launched (see the press release in yesterday's "Montserrat Today".

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.