Montserrat Today

For Wednesday/Thursday May 27/28, 1998
Presented by the Information Unit of the
Government of Montserrat's Emergency Department


For the last few days, activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano has been at a slightly elevated level than of late.

There has been a significant increase in the number of volcano-tectonic earthquakes and in one 24 hour reporting period there were over 40 of these events together with 2 hybrid earthquakes and 4 rockfall signals. However, most of the events were quite small.

The dust levels at all monitoring sites in the central and northern zones are low at the moment.


Dr Gill Norton has taken over, once again, as Deputy Chief Scientist at the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) - she replaces Dr Sue Louglin whose present tour of duty has come to an end.

Dr Jean-Christophe Komorowski, the Scientist in charge of the Soufriere Observatory in Guadeloupe is also back at the MVO. He is at the start of a one month tour of duty at the observatory.


The following press release was issued by Government House on May 26th:

"HMS Newcastle will be visiting Montserrat for the last time on June 1st and 2nd as its tour of duty as West Indies Guard Ship comes to an end shortly. She will be replaced by HMS Sheffield in July.

HMS Newcastle has a new captain, Commander Steve Kenny, who will call on HE The Governor, the Chief Minister, the RMDF, Emergency Department and the Montserrat Volcano Observatory during the visit.

A group of former residents of the St Patrick's area have been invited to go on board for an island tour. This will enable them to see the damage caused by the eruption on 26th december 1997." (END)

Editor's note: In an earlier announcement it was mistakenly reported that HMS Liverpool was the current West Indies Guard Ship and would be visiting - sorry for any inconvenience caused.


Following the above announcement, the Emergency Department (ED) is inviting former residents of St Patrick's, Reids Hill, Reids Bay and Gingoes to register for the island tour.

Anyone falling into this category should register at the ED by telephone (491 7166) before 9 am on Friday May 29th. If numbers are too large for the tour the names will be drawn by lottery. The tour will commence on Tuesday afternoon next at approx 1 pm, seas permitting.


The 1998 Hurricane Season officially starts next Monday, June 1st. Scientists are warning of the likelyhood of increased activity this year over last year.

The Emergency Department has distributed its "Guide to Hurricane Planning" to all Government Departments and business places and offices in the private sector. Currently each Dept of Government is producing its hurricane plan and the private sector is being urged to do the same.

A resident's guide to the hurricane season is currently being drawn up and will go on distribution next week.


The newly appointed Montserrat Red Cross Board will meet for the first time this evening (Weds). The new board under the chairmanship of President of the Montserrat Red Cross, Lystra Osborne will develop a plan of action for the rest of 1998.


The Golden Years Foundation set up up to run the Golden Years Home for the Elderly now has its board in place. The home is being built by the Montserrat Red Cross who will hand it over to the Foundation on completion, expected late next month.

Last Saturday (May 23rd), the members of the Foundation met to elect the final representatives to the Board. The full Board of Governors is made up of:

The Financial Secretary, The Chief Medical Officer, The Chief Community Development Officer, The Director, Montserrat Red Cross, The Chairman Old People's Welfare Association and four elected members. The four members elected at the meeting were: Mr Claude Browne, Major Joseph Lynch, Mr Gregory DeGannes and Rev. Joan Meade.

The complete Board will meet for the first time tomorrow evening (Thurs May 28th) at Red Cross HQ.

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:
Richard Aspin, Unit Co-ordinator.