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Situation update on the Montserrat volcanic emergency

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SITUATION UPDATE ON THE MONTSERRAT VOLCANIC EMERGENCY
Update#: 51
Issued: 22 September 1998

The following update is a summary of known activities related to the Montserrat volcanic emergency that occurred since the last update Weekly Update #50 circulated 14 September, 1998.

1.0 VOLCANIC ACTIVITY

1.1 Activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano was very low during the last week, characterised by a few rockfalls and some volcano tectonic earthquakes.

1.2 A strong regional earthquake centered close to Barbuda was recorded by the MVO's monitoring devices and felt in Montserrat by residents on Sunday.

1.3 COSPEC measurements taken at sea from the police launch continue to show low levels of atmospheric gas.

1.4 The dome continues to relax, even though recent clear views indicate that the fumeroles are quite active and giving off a considerable amount of steam.

2.0 RE-OCCUPATION OF SOME AREAS IN SIGHT

2.1 Wednesday, September 30 is the target date that has been set to allow the re-occupation of areas north of the Belham Valley.

2.2 That's according to a press release issued by Government House.

2.3 The release states that this decision was taken at a meeting of the Executive Council held on September 10, 1998.

2.4 The areas targetted for re-occupation are currently within the exclusion zone.

2.5 The Government House release states that it would allow re-occupation of these areas north of the Belham Valley, subject to medical advice, on September 30.

3.0 ENTRY REQUIREMENTS NOT BEING HEEDED

3.1 Concern is being expressed in Montserrat about Caricom nationals who have been entering the island without adhering to the necessary entry requirements.

3.2 A Government Information Release states that several overseas nationals have been arriving there to access employment opportunities, but without the necessary documentation.

3.3 As a result, many of them have been refused entry because they do not fulfill entry requirements.

3.4 The GIS release states that the government welcomes overseas nationals wishing to make a contribution to the island's development process.

3.5 The release further states that it has waived all work permit fees for CARICOM nationals until the end of the year, but there is however a processing fee.

3.6 The island's acute housing shortage is however prohibiting the free flow of persons at this particular time.

3.7 As a result, immigration and work permit regulations set out by the authorities need to be adhered to.

3.8 These include proof of accommodation, a police record not older than six months and a medical certificate, issued no later than three months prior to arrival.

3.9 Persons should also have sufficient money to meet financial obligations for at least two weeks, if there is no proof of employment.

3.10 Proof of a job offer, or an invitation from a contractor must be shown in order to be accepted as a worker in Montserrat.

4.0 MONTSERRATIANS IN US GET EXTENDED TEMPORARY STATUS

4.1 Undocumented Montserratians in the United States can remain their temporarily for a longer period, as a result of the ongoing volcanic crisis.

4.2 That's because the US Government has extended the Designation of Montserrat under the Temporary Protected Status Programme (TPS).

4.3 The TPS has been extended for another twelve months, this, after Attorney General Janet Reno held discussions with the appropriate agencies in the US.

4.4 It's estimated that some three hundred Montserratians are likely to benefit from the extension, once they comply with re-registration requirements.

4.5 Attorney General Reno will review, at least 60 days before its expiration, the designation of Montserrat under the TPS programme, to determine whether the island continues to meet the conditions set out.

4.6 The Government of Montserrat says it welcomes the news of the extension as it offers relief to Montserratians wishing to leave the island because of the volcanic crisis.

5.0 MONTSERRAT TO OBSERVE TOURISM WEEK

5.1 Tourism Week '98 will be observed in Montserrat September 27th to October 3rd.

5.2 Week long activities to mark the occasion have been planned.

5.3 The week of activities kicks off on Sunday 27th with a gospel concert and there will also be a World Tourism Day discussion on ZJB Radio on Monday September 28th.

5.4 On Tuesday, September 29th, the much awaited Happy Returns Concert 2 is slated to be held.

5.5 Other activities planned for the week include a cultural performance and a street fair and arts and craft exhibition.

5.6 The theme of the celebrations is "A festival of arts, crafts, music, culture and enterprise."

6.0 MONTSERRATIAN MAKES LEEWARDS CRICKET TRAINING SQUAD

6.1 Tyrone 'Charlie' Greenaway has been named on the 1999 Leeward Islands Training Squad.

6.2 The youthful cricketer has represented the West Indies at the youth level having toured Pakistan and Sri Lanka with past WI under 19 teams.

6.3 Greenaway's inclusion in the training squad, signals the return of Montserrat to regional cricket.

6.4 Montserrat did not participate in the 1998 cricket season because of ongoing volcanic activity.

6.5 Meanwhile, a committee is being put together to rehabilitate Salem Park for cricket both at the regional and local level.