Montserrat Today

For Monday December 08, 1997
Presented by the Information and Education Unit
of Montserrat's Emergency Department


In the last few hours seismicity increased a little at the Soufriere Hills Volcano. This morning there were some small pyroclastic flows and the position of these has still to be determined. For most of Sunday there was fairly constant rockfall activity.

Visibility of the dome has been good for the last 24 hours and the opportunity was used to measure the size of the dome. In addition EDM and GPS measurements were taken and all this data is now being worked on.

There was some light ashfall in Olveston and Woodlands over the weekend but the average dust levels over the last 24 hours are still low.


The West Indies Guard Ship, HMS Newcastle is in Montserrat for the next few days paying a familiarisation visit. The ship's company assisted RMDF staff in their construction programme and also assisted in the recovery of sirens at Corkhill.

One of the ship's roles is in disaster preparedness and response so the officers took the opportunity to get an up to date briefing on the volcano.


Following a slight increase in volcanic activity this morning the ongoing visits into the unsafe zone for the recovery of personal effects was put on hold after scientific advice.

The project has seen residents from Salem to the Richmond Hill area entering the zone with police officers and scientific staff to recover their belongings.

The situation will be reviewed on Wednesday morning.


The group of calypsonians who are to appear in New York to raise funds for the calypsonian community in Montserrat are getting ready to leave the island.

The "concerned calypsonians in concert" put on a fund raising show over the weekend and today their spokesman Mr Owen Roach said that the Governor's Office was to pick up the shortfall so that airline tickets could be purchased. Mr Roach was full of praise for the Governors Office and for American Airlines who are offering reduced tickets for the group.

The New York show will be held on Saturday night coming at the Workmen's Auditorium in the Bronx, showtime is 9 pm.


The larger 300 seat French "Antilles Express" ferry currently operating the midweek service between Montserrat and Antigua is to take over the service completely. Passengers much prefer the French vessel because it is much faster and more comfortable.

Antilles Express will operate the service 6 days per week (no service on Sundays) from December 15th.


(continued from last week)

(15) Between Nov 1996 and July 1997 it is clear that discussion of housing projects took place within overly bureaucratic procedures and with little sense of urgency. Responsibility for this must be shared between HMG and the GOM. It was no doubt hoped by all that Salem and the central area of the island would remain safe. This was in accord with the scientific advice of the time> All such advice was, however, on the understanding that volcanology is not an exact science and the volcano in the Soufriere Hills is an atypical volcano. Greater and more urgent contingency planning was called for from the early stages of the volcano's activity, as the Governor had attempted to make clear.

(continued tomorrow)

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.