Montserrat Today

For Friday December 12, 1997
Presented by the Information and Education Unit
of Montserrat's Emergency Department

Rockfall signals dominated the activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano over the last 24 hours. There were around 150 such signals as well as some long period and hybrid earthquakes.

The main growth area of the dome is concentrated high above Galways although activity could move at any time. Some ashclouds were produced by the rockfalls yesterday but ash levels are generally very low.

It is thought that the rockfall activity could lead to pyroclastic flows at any time so the population should remain alert.


There was a joint press statement by the Governor and Chief Minister of Montserrat yesterday. It reads:

Members of the Scientific Team commissioned by the British Government to examine the possibility of further volcanic activity gave a preliminary oral briefing to British Ministers in London and the Government of Montserrat today, December 11th.

We await receipt of the team's final report and the associated risk assessment which will be validated by the British Government's Chief Scientific Advisor on December 16th.

This report will then be considered by the British Government and the Government of Montserrat when both will discuss the findings.

It can be stated at this stage that the preliminary scientific briefing indicates that the risk to the northern part of Montserrat is currently very low.


It has been announced that there will be extra helicopter flights in the period leading up to Christmas. An additional flight will be made in each direction each day on the 22/23/24 December. Flights to Montserrat from Antigua will be at 7.30 am, 3 pm and 4.30 pm and in the opposite direction at 8 am, 3.30 pm and 5 pm. All bookings for flights should be made at M.A.S. at 664 491 2533. There will be no service on Christmas Day.

In addition it has already been announced that there will be no ferry service on Christmas Day. Arrangements have been made for an emergency helicopter service if required for any reason.


The group of Montserratian calypsonians going under the name "Concerned Calysonians in Concert" appear in New York tomorrow. Their show is carded for 9 pm at the Workmen's Circle Auditorium on Grace Ave in the Bronx.

The show is to raise funds for their fellow calypsonians in Montserrat who have suffered losses due to the volcano and is organised with the assistance of the Montserrat Association of New York.


The Montserrat branch of the British Red Cross hold their annual Christmas party for children tommorrow at Woodlands. Over 100 children will attend and will be treated to a wide range of eats, drinks and games. Each child will be presented with a Christmas gift from Santa.

Several readers of this column have presented cash and toys for this event and we would like to thank all concerned.


(continued from yesterday)

(22) We recommend that the FCO, in conjunction with DTI, make efforts to discover definitively what insurance cover has been withdrawn since the crisis began, what increases there have been in premiums since July 1995, whether there have been any reductions in liabilities, and use High Commissions in the Caribbean and Montserratian welfare societies in the U.K. to invite Montserratians to give details of delays and difficulties in receiving payments. We expect this information to be included in the Government response to this report.

(23) If HMG is genuinely committed to the viability and prosperity of the north of Montserrat, the Treasury must offer suitable guarantees which will enable current insurance cover to be maintained, and insurance companies to secure reinsurance thus provide renewal of cover. (more next week)

More information on Monday..................................

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.