Montserrat Today

For Friday/Saturday February 20/21, 1998
Presented by the Information Unit of the
Government of Montserrat's Emergency Department


THE VOLCANIC EXPLANATION:

The activity at the Soufriere Hills volcano continues to follow the cyclic pattern established in recent days. The activity elevates at about 12 hour intervals and these periods are characterised by an increase in rockfall activity and low amplitude volcanic tremor.

The seismic stations have recorded hybrid and volcano- tectonic earthquakes as well as in the region of 50 rockfall signals per day.

Over the last few days, MVO staff have completed work at Hermitage to establish a continuous GPS and microgravity station at the site. The University of Puerto Rico have helped in this installation.

Although there have been some periods of very light ashfall in the last few days, the ash levels are very low at the moment.

AFFECTS OF ASH ON CHILDREN CAMPAIGN GONE WELL:

Over the last few days over 200 children have been tested by Dr Peter Baxter and his team to check the affects of ash on children.

Health officials are very pleased with the response from parents and said that over 90% of all parents involved returned completed forms for their children to take part and be tested.

A preliminary report from Dr Baxter is expected in about 3 months time.

HOT MIX PLANT TESTED:

The new Government hot mix plant at Brades has undergone its first tests and the first batch of road bitumen produced used for filling potholes.

Some extra equipment needs to be installed and after final adjustments, the plant will be ready to put into full time operation. The new plant will produce road surfacing material for the major road rehabilitation project which starts with the Hilltop to Brades main road.

VISTS TO EXCLUSION ZONE TO RESUME:

It has been announced that limited access to the Exclusion Zone under convoy is to be resumed. From Saturday residents will be allowed to go in as far as Corkhill under Defence Force, police and scientists supervision.

Residents who have pre-registered will join the convoy from Olveston and will be allowed very limited time to bring out their belongings. No individual access will be allowed and everyone going into the zone must be part of the convoy.

BRITAIN ANNOUNCES MORE HOUSING FOR MONTSERRAT:

The British Government has announced that it will spend a further 4.8 million on housing for Montserrat.

The announcement, made by George Foulkes the International Development Minister mid week said that the funding will bring Britain's full committment to provide 250 homes in Montserrat to fruition.

In addition to the houses to be built at Lookout, new dormitories will also be built so that persons currently living in shelters in the Central Zone at the MSS compound can move to the north of the island.

The new funding brings Britain's expenditure (either spent or committed) during the volcanic crisis to 55 million.

CATTLE TO BE SHIPPED MID MARCH:

The 200 head of cattle that Dominica has agreed to purchase from Montserrat livestock owners will probably be shipped mid March.

Currently the shipping and delivery arrangements are being worked out and in addition the cattle to be exported have to be weighed and prepared for shipping.

More information next 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.