Month: September 2017

DMCA’S PUBLIC INFORMATION RADIO PROGRAM TO COMMEMORATE MAJOR DISASTERS IN SEPTEMBER ON MONTSERRAT

by Shirlian Queeley

September 17th on Montserrat is the anniversary of several major major disasters, as we’ll hear in today’s special edition of the Disaster Management Coordination Agency's (DMCA) radio programme "PREPARE AND PREVENT”.

You’ll also hear as well why September is definitely not Montserrat’s favourite month… But the determination, the resilience and the indomitable spirit of the Montserratian people could not be broken despite all their suffering.

In 1965, on September 17th, Pan-American Airways Boeing 707 Jet crashed in Chance’s Mountain area in the low-flying fog, in the exclusion zone, killing all on aboard – 21 passengers and nine crew members.

In 1989, on September 17th, Category 4 Hurricane Hugo devastated the entire island; killing ten people, 89 persons were injured and over 90 percent of the structures on the island were damaged.

In 1996, on September 17th, the Soufriere Hills volcano burst forth... this one of several terrifying explosions from the volcano. It was also on September 3rd, 1981 “Montserrat experienced its “worst flood in living memory”, according to an article published in the Montserrat Reporter on September 18th, 2015.

In this edition of “PREPARE AND PREVENT”, we’ll bring to you an interview with Newspaper Editor and Broadcaster Bennet Roach

Click below to hear the full interview with Mr Roach...

TODAY’S LOCAL WEATHER FOR MONTSERRAT VALID UP TO 8 AM TOMORROW FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 29TH, 2017

by Shirlian Queeley

SYNOPSIS: Notwithstanding the presence of a low level trough system across the area later today, shower activity will remain at minimum. The possible rainfall total for the forecast period is 0 to 5 mm (0 to 0.20 in).

WEATHER TODAY: Partly sunny with a 30 percent or a low chance of showers.

WEATHER TONIGHT: Partly cloudy with a 30 percent or a low chance of showers.

SPECIAL WARNING: Beachgoers should continue to exercise caution, mainly on north facing beaches.

WINDS: Easterly at 15 to 28 km/h or 8 to 15 knots with occasional strong gusts.

SEAS: Moderate with heights of 1.2 to 1.8 metres or 4 to 6 feet and occasionally reaching 2.4 metres or 8 feet, mainly in long period swells from the north. Beachgoers should continue to exercise caution, mainly on north facing beaches.

TODAY’S LOCAL WEATHER FOR MONTSERRAT VALID UP TO 8 AM TOMORROW THURSDAY SEPTEMBER 28TH, 2017

by Shirlian Queeley

SYNOPSIS: Low humidity levels and divergence at the lower levels of the atmosphere along with hazy conditions will continue to inhibit shower activity. Hence, possible rainfall total for the forecast period is 0 to 3 mm (0 to 0.12 inch).

WEATHER TODAY: Partly sunny and slightly hazy with a 10 percent or slight chance of showers.

WEATHER TONIGHT: Partly cloudy with a 10 percent or slight chance of showers.

WINDS: Easterly at 13 to 26 km/h or 7 to 14 knots.

SEAS: Moderate with heights not exceeding 1.5 metres or not exceeding 5 feet.

TODAY’S LOCAL WEATHER FOR MONTSERRAT VALID UP TO 8 AM TOMORROW TUESDAY SEPTEMBER 26TH, 2017

by Shirlian Queeley

SYNOPSIS: Weak instability associated with a tropical wave will gradually diminish today and allow a ridge of high pressure to dominate;However an abundance of medium and high level clouds will linger over the islands today and tonight

WEATHER: Today: Partly cloudy to cloudy with moderate chance of a brief morning shower

TONIGHT: Partly cloudy to cloudy with a slight chance of brief shower

WINDS: East-southeasterly at average speeds between 10 -13 knots or 19-24km/h.

SEAS: Moderate: Heights of 1.5m or 5ft.

ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE: Above normal.

SUNSET TODAY: 6:03 pm SUNRISE TOMORROW: 5:59 am.

TODAY'S HIGH TEMPERATURE:32°C 90°F

OVERNIGHT LOW TEMPERATURE: 25°C 77°F

MONTSERRAT VOLCANO OBSERVATORY (MVO) WEEKLY REPORT FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 15TH TO 22ND, 2017

by Shirlian Queeley

Activity at the Soufrière Hills Volcano remains low.

The seismic network recorded one volcano-tectonic earthquake this week.

No measurements of the SO2 flux have been made since 14 September.

The smell of volcanic gases has been noticeable at times during the week when the volcanic plume was blown over inhabited areas.

Hurricane Maria, a Category 5 Hurricane, passed south of Montserrat on 19 September, bringing tropical-storm-force winds and very heavy rainfall. The maximum wind gust recorded at MVO was 80 mph (130 km/hr). There were lahars in all drainage valleys around the volcano and the vehicle crossings in the Belham Valley were cut by gullies up to two metres deep. Some of MVO’s monitoring equipment was damaged during the storm, including much of our communications network, and we are working to restore full monitoring capability. Despite these losses, our capacity to provide crucial advice to the government and people of Montserrat has not been significantly impaired. Pyroclastic flows can occur at any time without warning on any side of the volcano, including Gages from where they can travel rapidly into Plymouth. Tracks across the Belham Valley can be destroyed or heavily modified by flash flooding or lahars, and caution should be exercised crossing the valley during and after rainfall. 

DMCA CONTINUES TO CLOSELY MONITOR THE PROGRESS OF INVEST 96L; 90% CHANCE OF CLYCLONE FORMATION IN THE NEXT FIVE DAYS

by Shirlian Queeley

Invest 96L, marked as an 'X' below on one of the images is a tropical wave located about 1200 miles east of the Windward Islands, producing a large area of showers and thunderstorms. Environmental conditions are expected to be conducive for gradual development, and a tropical depression is expected to form in 2 or 3 days. Interests in the Lesser Antilles should closely monitor the progress of this system while it moves westward to west- northwestward at about 15 mph. * Formation chance through 48 hours...medium...50 percent. * Formation chance through 5 days...high...90 percent.

Meanwhile, the National Hurricane Centre is issuing advisories on newly formed Tropical Depression Fourteen, located over the far eastern tropical Atlantic Ocean about 435 miles (700 km) south-southwest of the Cabo Verde Islands. The depression is moving toward the west near 15 mph (24 km/h), and this motion is expected to continue during the next couple of days. Maximum sustained winds are near 35 mph (55 km/h) with higher gusts.

The depression is forecast to become a Tropical Storm later today or tomorrow. When that occurs, it will be given the name "Lee".

NEWS: MONTSERRAT TO ASSIST ISLANDS DEVASTATED BY HURRICANE IRMA

by Shirlian Queeley

According to information shared by the Government of Montserrat, the Government is aware of the enormous stress of post-disaster adjustment, recovery and rebuilding and will join wholeheartedly in all stages going forward in collaboration with our neighbors; and welcome very much the rapid and timely response of our international partners to the situation in Barbuda, BVI, Anguilla and the Turks and Caicos Islands. The Government of Montserrat (GoM), is pleased to report that our Government response has been updated as follows:

1. Through the Eastern Caribbean Currency Union, Montserrat’s share contribution in the $2 million disbursement to the affected islands, calculates to about EC$250,000. These funds have been authorized and remitted by the Monetary Council of the Eastern Caribbean Central Bank.

2. The Government of Montserrat advised the Prime Minister of Antigua & Barbuda that Montserrat will be providing its ferry for 2 trips per week (Monday and Friday) from Antigua to Barbuda.

Also the ferry will be making a special trip to Anguilla shortly to deliver relief packages and water for the residents of Anguilla.

3. The Ministry of Education as part of Montserrat’s response efforts to assist with relief to our neighboring islands that were devastated by Hurricane Irma, is opening our schools to students from Nursery to Secondary, especially those preparing for the CSEC examinations during this academic year. Three hundred and 335 students can be absorbed into our school system.

At the Secondary 160 students, Primary- 100, Nursery- 75 Within the next 48 hours, the Government will be liaising with the Red Cross and other private groups, in collecting relief supplies for the Overseas Territories and Barbuda. The community is asked to prepare immediately, because there is an urgent need for water and food supplies in the affected territories. Updates to the relief plan, will be relayed to the public, accordingly.

TODAY’S LOCAL WEATHER FOR MONTSERRAT VALID UP TO 8 AM TOMORROW WEDNESDAY SEPTEMBER 12TH, 2017

by Shirlian Queeley

SYNOPSIS: Dry and stable conditions will persist across the region.

WEATHER:

TODAY: Sunny to partly cloudy with a low or 30% chance of showers.

TONIGHT: Mostly fair with the chance of showers remaining low.

WINDS: ESE at 13-22 km/h or 07-12kts over land and increasing to near 26 km/h or 14kts over coastal waters..

SEAS: Slight to moderate waves 0.9-1.5m or 4-5ft..

ATMOSPHERIC PRESSURE: Near normal.

SUNSET TODAY: 6:14 pm. SUNRISE TOMORROW: 5:57 am.

MONTSERRAT VOLCANO OBSERVATORY (MVO) WEEKLY REPORT FOR THE PERIOD SEPTEMBER 1ST TO 8TH, 2017

by Shirlian Queeley

Activity at the Soufrière Hills Volcano remains low.

The seismic network recorded no volcanic earthquakes this week.

Measurements of the SO2 flux were made using the helicopter on 4 September. A total of 13 traverses beneath the plume were carried out, with an average SO2 flux of 338 tonnes per day.

Pyroclastic flows can occur at any time without warning on any side of the volcano, including Gages from where they can travel rapidly into Plymouth. Tracks across the Belham Valley can be destroyed or heavily modified by flash flooding or lahars, and caution should be exercised crossing the valley during and after rainfall.

The Hazard Level is 1. There is no public access to Zone V, including Plymouth. Maritime Zones E and W are daytime transit only between sunrise and sunset (boats may sail through the zone but must not stop). Anyone who ignores these restrictions is liable to be prosecuted.

PRESS STATEMENT ISSUED BY THE HONOURABLE PREMIER DONALDSON ROMEO ON HURRICANE IRMA

by Shirlian Queeley

Citizens and residence of Montserrat, over the past 48 hours, Hurricane Irma has intensified and continues to move West South West, passing through the Leeward Islands. Montserrat along with the rest of the Leeward Islands are now officially under a Hurricane Warning.

The National Hurricane Centre has predicted that by the time Irma reaches the vicinity of the Leeward Islands, it could be a Category 4 hurricane with wind speeds of 140 miles per hour. The Government of Montserrat is taking all precautions to ensure that all lives are protected. The Antigua Met office has indicated that rough seas are expected by Tuesday, with waves of up to 10ft and increasing to 17ft by Wednesday.

Consequently, the ferry service for Tuesday was cancelled and the ferry has already departed for shelter until the weather subsides. Fly Montserrat and SVG have also indicated that they will be heading to safety by Tuesday morning. So this means that there will be no Access in and out of Montserrat for the rest of the week until Friday morning, September 8th.

As I mentioned in my previous statement, hurricanes are unpredictable and should be taken seriously. I cannot stress enough that now is the time to get all preparations in place.

• Residents must stock up on food, water and medication. • Remove all loose debris from your surroundings. • Check on the sick and vulnerable in your community and seek assistance for them, where required. • Persons who are unsure of the safety of their houses should move to the nearest shelter, or to the home of a neighbor or friend. • Fishermen are expected to have their boats removed from the water and secured. • Farmers and other residents with livestock should ensure that the animals are safe.

We continue to stress the importance of staying tuned to ZJB Radio for updates. Once the weather deteriorates, the Government wishes to remind residents that all persons should stay indoors. Only emergency vehicles are expected to be on the roads, especially since we are prone to debris from landslides with large rocks and trees obstructing the roads.