Montserrat Today

For Thursday/Friday/Saturday April 16/17/18, 1998
Presented by the Information Unit of the
Government of Montserrat's Emergency Department


THE VOLCANIC EXPLANATION:

Over the last few days the level of activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano has remained at a low level. Around a dozen small volcano-tectonic earthquakes have been recorded in the last 24 hours and just a few rockfalls.

Some views of the dome were possible on Thursday and a helicopter overflight showed that there has been little or no activity on the dome since the last sightings.

Some recent GPS work has shown that several sites including Long Ground, Whites and close to the Tar River Valley slowly continue to move to the northeast showing that there is long term deformation over the eastern side of the volcano.

Dust levels are low at all monitoring stations.

FURTHER ASSISTANCE TO MONTSERRATIAN EVACUEES IN THE REGION:

A Government House Press Release has stated that Clare Short, Secretary of State for International Development, on April 16th outlined further assistance to help the 3000 Montserratian evacuees in the Caribbean region achieve greater financial independence.

A community empowerment project will be developed to encourage financial independence. It is intended that the project will, for example, help people gain access to social services on the island where they are now living, establish child facilities for single parents wishing to work and provide job placement schemes.

For those who are unable to become independent because of age or disability a charitable fund will be introduced. It is intended that the scheme will operate through registered local charities, friendly societies and religious organisations. DFID will seek expressions of interest later this month from such organisations and without the support of relatives. A survey into evacuees' needs is being conducted by UNICEF.

DFID ANNOUNCES BUDGETARY AID:

DFID on April 16th announced further budgetary aid of 7.085 million to the Government of Montserrat. This brings to 62 million the amount committed to helping Montserrat deal with the volcanic crisis. Of this amount, 48 million has already been spent.

RED CROSS FOOD VOUCHERS IN ANTIGUA:

The Antigua and Barbuda Red Cross has announced that the ninth and penultimate distribution of food vouchers for registered Montserratian evacuees living in Antigua will take place on Tuesday April 21st from 8 am to 4 pm at Red Cross HQ on Old Parham Road.

The food voucher programme is funded by ECHO of the European Community.

VISITORS TO MONTSERRAT:

Earlier this week Radio Amateurs from throughout the region visited Montserrat as part of the activities of their annual Caribbean Conference.

Spokesman, Gerry Price of Antigua said that the visit was to lend support in Montserrat's time of crisis and for the amateurs to meet face to face the Montserrat members they speak to from time to time.

The group visited several sites and were given a view of the volcano from safe vantage points in the north of the island.

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.