THE VOLCANIC EXPLANATION:
For the last few days there have been periods of almost continuous rockfalls which could also have been small pyroclastic flows. All the activity is on the Galways side of the volcanic dome.
In addition, over the last few days there have been a number of long period, volcano-tectonic, and hybrid earthquakes.
Ash has fallen in most areas of the island and ash levels are currently very high. Some ash has also fallen in Antigua and Nevis. These ash deposits have been caused by unfavourable wind conditions.
All residents are being urged to wear their dust masks and everyone should remain alert.
SEARCH & RESCUE TEAMS TO CARRY OUT SURVEY:
ZJB announced today that every home in the Salem area and in the Central Zone will be visited very shortly by members of the search and rescue teams to determine the location of each building and the number of residents living there.
This information is essential for the preparation of the contingency evacuation plan being drawn up for the Central Zone. It is very important for such a plan to be ready in case it is ever needed at short notice.
Everyone is being urged to cooperate with the search and rescue teams as the information is essential for proper planning. Such cooperation will be greatly appreciated.
RMDF CONSTRUCTING SPECIAL NEEDS SHELTERS:
The Royal Montserrat Defence Force (RMDF) is currently constructing three special needs shelters at Gerald's in the north of the island.
The shelters will be for those persones who, because of their special needs, can't live in normal shelters. The homes are expected to be completed next month.
LIVESTOCK TO BE EXPORTED:
A vet from Dominica is currently on island inspecting livestock before shipping them to that Windward Island in the next few weeks.
There has been a problem with loose livestock in the Central Zone for some months and Dominica has come to the rescue by deciding to purchase in the region of 200 head of cattle.
The cattle should leave here at the middle of this month.
FUEL BEING SHIPPED TO THE ISLAND:
Because of delays in the commercial shipping of fuel to the island, the Emergency Dept has arranged for some 1100 cylinders of LPG to be brought to the island over the weekend from Nevis.
It is hoped that the fuel will be ready for distribution by Monday morning to alleviate the shortage of cooking gas on island.
There are however, ample stocks of gasolene (petrol) and diesel on island as both were delivered recently.
COMMUNITY GROUPS REVIVED:
The Department of Community Services are attempting to revive local community groups on the island. It is thought that such groups will be able to carry out many community projects that are required in the ongoing volcanic crisis.
The National Youth Council is one of the groups to be revived and strengthened.
HMS NEWCASTLE TO VISIT:
The West Indies Guard Ship, HMS Newcastle is to visit Montserrat next weekend. It is hoped that during the visit, volcanic activity permitting, several residents will be taken on a visit to the coast off the southern tip of the island.
This will allow residents to view for themselves the damage caused by the collapse of the dome on December 26th 1997.
More information next week.................................