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Situation Report
Released August 20
Background information obtained from the Caribbean Disaster Emergency Response Agency (CDERA)
Soufriere Hills Volcanic Activity - Montserrat -

The danger zone on Montserrat has been extended. It now includes the area from Broderick's Estate, south to Old Fort Point and all areas south of the Fort Ghaut. On Saturday these areas were evacuated. That places more pressure on the housing and shelters in the north of the island.

This move follows continued high levels of volcanic activity at Soufriere Hills. Since initial escalation on June 25, the volcanic activity now threatens all areas flanking the volcano, including some areas surrounding the Belham River Valley.

The British and the local government are encouraging voluntary, off-island evacuation which is expected to start tomorrow. Displaced persons will receive financial assistance. Details will come later in the week.

Evacuees will first go to Antigua then to the United Kingdom and other Caribbean Islands.

The National Disaster Office in Antigua is reviewing its evacuation contingency plans. The Evacuation Team has members from the police, immigration, customs, Red Cross, and the National Office of Disaster Services.

Nurses sent to Montserrat last week from Grenada and St. Lucia are safe and are being kept updated.

As previously requested, Montserrat asks CDERA participating states to review the contingency arrangements for receiving 200 - 500 evacuees.

Please consider the following:

  • Where will evacuees be housed both for the short and long term?
  • What arrangements for water, food, and shelter need to be made?
  • What arrangements need to be made for special populations such as school children, professionals, and unemployed or unskilled adults?

Review Questions

  1. How does the Montserrat government respond to the threat of natural disaster?
  2. What concerns would officials have when evacuating large numbers of people? How might you respond to these concerns?
  3. What areas on Montserrat are in danger of damages from the volcanic eruption? Point these out on the maps provided.