Montserrat Today

For Mon/Tues Feb 2/3rd 1998
Presented by the Information Unit of the
Government of Montserrat's Emergency Department


THE VOLCANIC EXPLANATION:

The dome has been shrouded by low cloud for the last few days but it is thought to be still growing on the southwestern side.

Rockfall signals have dominated the activity for the last few days with over 100 of them being recorded in the last 48 hours. In addition there have been some hybrid, long period & volcano-tectonic earthquakes recorded.

On Monday Feb 2nd a GPS survey was conducted of the LEESNET and the results are currently being processed and will be reported later in the week.

Dust levela at all monitoring stations are reported to be low, but prevailing winds today might blow a little ash into the Olveston area.

SOME STATISTICS:

As of February 1st 1998, the population of Montserrat is 3200. It is reported that 512 persons are in shelters and that 2983 persons are registered under the food voucher scheme.

FOREIGN SECRETARY TO VISIT:

The Rt.Hon. Robin Cook MP, Britain's Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, will pay a visit to Montserrat on Saturday February 14th 1998. This will follow his attendance at the Caribbean Forum to be held in Nassau, Bahamas on Feb 12/13th.

During his one day visit to Montserrat, the Foreign Secretary will have an overflight of the volcano, will tour facilities in the north and will meet with the Hon Chief Minister and other Ministers of Government.

ALL RESIDENTS ADVISED:

Every resident of Montserrat has received a brochure entitled "Advice to Residents of Montserrat". The brochure published jointly by the Governor's Office and the Chief Minister's Office gives details of the volcanic assessment, the health risks and the advice of the Government of Montserrat to residents.

Any Montserratian or Montserrat property owner overseas who wish to receive a copy, please E mail the Emergency Dept at: monmedia@candw.ag requesting a copy and we will airmail one.

BRITISH ASSISTANCE PASSES 50 MILLION MARK:

The latest package of assistance to help Montserrat in the ongoing volcanic crisis has pushed Britains committment beyond the 50 million mark.

Last week DFID announced that 1 million will be made available for small and medium scale businesses in Montserrat to start up in the north of the island and in Antigua. The project is designed to assist people wishing to start their own businesses to create a source of employment in both islands.

RED CROSS ASSIST MONTSERRATIANS IN ANTIGUA:

The Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross Society is distributing food vouchers to more that 1400 Montserratians in Antigua. The funds were made available to the Red Cross by the European Union.

So far there have been three distributions in the ten month programme and the next one is carded for Feb 10th at the Red Cross building in St John's, Antigua.

Following the third distribution, a random sample of recipients was taken and over 90% of the persons interviewed thought that the system was fair, the distribution system good and the stores accepting the vouchers good and fair.

EMERGENCY DEPT UPDATES INFORMATION TO SHELTEREES:

The Emergency Dept is informing sheterees living in public shelters managed by the Dept that if they leave island, they can not pass on the shelter space to someone else in an arbitary fashion.

Shelterees leaving the island are being urged to inform the Dept of their impending departure date and then shelter space can be consolidated.

The number of persons in public shelter has dropped drastically over the last few months and many school and church buildings have been handed back to the relevant authorities.

DAY TOURS TO MONTSERRAT:

The Montserrat Tourist Board in conjunction with local tour operators have started day tours to Montserrat from Antigua for tourists holidaying there.

Day trippers can come up to Montserrat on the early morning ferry from Antigua (departing at 6.15 am) and return on the afternoon ferry (departing at 5.30 pm).

Last weekend representatives of several Antiguan hotels and tour operators came to Montserrat to see for themselves what is available, and were impressed by the programme on offer.

More information later in the week..........................

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: monmedia@candw.ag
Richard Aspin, Unit Co-ordinator.