Categorized | Featured, Local, News

As we remembered June 25, 1997

06-24-15-PaulCole-Photo-of-the-1997-eruption

Photo of the June 25, 1997 fateful eruption event. (MVO Photo – Paul Cole )

by Bennette Roach

I had made a conscious effort this year, not to forget that fateful day or to revive it into the memories of Montserrat.

A Jus Wonderin from September last year even after nothing was said or done in June, said: “Jus wonderin if HMG dispenses aid based on the risk-of-embarrassment model, only rushing to partially fulfil the least-costly one from amongst their raft of strategically delayed promises when faced with shame, like when the 19 people died on June 25, 1997.

There was a rush, but not to answer the calls following the inquiry into the cause and reasons for the deaths. I now point finger at our GoM and especially our premier the hon. Donaldson Romeo, who has more first-hand information as to what I speak about the reasons occasioning the deaths of these people, the evidence taken at the enquiry notwithstanding.

I had hoped ever since that one day I would be in a position to lead through some local attorney some redress and/or compensation for these deaths. Well, now Mr. Premier the ball is in your court. Nice words…

Jeevan Robinson wrote on the observance of the day, yesterday at MNIAlive.com: “After today is done, and these 20 years have been observed, Montserrat will continue on. The lives of those 19 lost along the flanks of the Soufriere Hills Volcano will be remembered for even a 100 years on from today, for their sacrifice is Montserrat’s sacrifice. A sacrifice of resilience and hope. It is within the island’s remit to not only remember those lost lives just for one day, and then tomorrow relegate them back to collateral loss to be expected from nature’s fury.”

I repeat from last week: So people died, and later even to this day there are the unpleasant reasons why that happened. But while HMG did not quite accept the verdict following the Inquiry which was presided over by Magistrate Rhys Burris, local government is yet to pursue some form of compensation for the survivors of these people. The deceased were where they were that day for varying reasons, some of them especially those in the Farrells vicinity, not hearing cautions that day of the risks.

Following the Inquest hearing: While the jurors found all 19 deaths were “caused by the natural catastrophe,” they pointed the finger of responsibility at both Her Majesty’s Government and the Government of Montserrat in at least some of them.

On that day following a dome collapse of the crater at the Soufriere Hills Volcano. in 25 minutes, a series of devastating flows swept the northern flanks of the volcano, down Mosquito Ghaut and followed the Paradise River almost to the sea. The flows and associated surge clouds damaged or destroyed between 100 to 150 houses, sweeping over the villages of Farrells, Windy Hill, Streatham, Dyers, Harris, Bethel, Bramble, Trants, Farms and Spanish Point being severely affected.

On Thursday June 25, 2015, last week at 12:55 p.m., the hour of the explosion and pyroclastic flows as shown in the photo here, the church bells on island rang 20 times, 19 times for each person who died and once for unknown persons who may have died. I did not hear these bells as this newspaper would have had to listen to the radio to get the information of these plans.

The public was asked to observe a moment of silence for those who were lost that day and ZJB Radio Montserrat was to carry an observance ceremony.

Nerissa Golden wrote at DiscoverMontserrat.com

20 years Since volcano start blow June 25, 1997 18 years 19 lives gone In a pyroclastic flow We still here. Thousands leave To make new dreams Start families Reconnect with loved ones We still here…

We still here

by DiscoverMNITeam · June 25, 2015

Nerissa Golden

Written by Nerissa Golden (c) 2015.

We Still Here

20 years Since volcano start blow

June 25, 1997

18 years

19 lives gone In a pyroclastic flow

We still here.

Thousands leave

to make new dreams,

Start families,

Reconnect with loved ones

We still here.

Neighbours come,

They help

They build

They stay

We still here.

Masquerade dance

Government change

Promises not kept

Britain gives

Britain takes away

We still here.

Way d cash from d ash?

How day goin’ find us off d grid?

We lose hope.

We make love.

We fight.

We break up.

You leave.

We still here.

We plant.

We reap.

We eat Mangoes

Breadfruit

Guava

We still here.

Waiting

Hoping

Longing

For a hero

To rescue us

From resilience

Our lack of courage

To change

To demand

To expect

To dream

We still here.

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A Moment with the Registrar of Lands

06-24-15-PaulCole-Photo-of-the-1997-eruption

Photo of the June 25, 1997 fateful eruption event. (MVO Photo – Paul Cole )

by Bennette Roach

I had made a conscious effort this year, not to forget that fateful day or to revive it into the memories of Montserrat.

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A Jus Wonderin from September last year even after nothing was said or done in June, said: “Jus wonderin if HMG dispenses aid based on the risk-of-embarrassment model, only rushing to partially fulfil the least-costly one from amongst their raft of strategically delayed promises when faced with shame, like when the 19 people died on June 25, 1997.

There was a rush, but not to answer the calls following the inquiry into the cause and reasons for the deaths. I now point finger at our GoM and especially our premier the hon. Donaldson Romeo, who has more first-hand information as to what I speak about the reasons occasioning the deaths of these people, the evidence taken at the enquiry notwithstanding.

I had hoped ever since that one day I would be in a position to lead through some local attorney some redress and/or compensation for these deaths. Well, now Mr. Premier the ball is in your court. Nice words…

Jeevan Robinson wrote on the observance of the day, yesterday at MNIAlive.com: “After today is done, and these 20 years have been observed, Montserrat will continue on. The lives of those 19 lost along the flanks of the Soufriere Hills Volcano will be remembered for even a 100 years on from today, for their sacrifice is Montserrat’s sacrifice. A sacrifice of resilience and hope. It is within the island’s remit to not only remember those lost lives just for one day, and then tomorrow relegate them back to collateral loss to be expected from nature’s fury.”

I repeat from last week: So people died, and later even to this day there are the unpleasant reasons why that happened. But while HMG did not quite accept the verdict following the Inquiry which was presided over by Magistrate Rhys Burris, local government is yet to pursue some form of compensation for the survivors of these people. The deceased were where they were that day for varying reasons, some of them especially those in the Farrells vicinity, not hearing cautions that day of the risks.

Following the Inquest hearing: While the jurors found all 19 deaths were “caused by the natural catastrophe,” they pointed the finger of responsibility at both Her Majesty’s Government and the Government of Montserrat in at least some of them.

On that day following a dome collapse of the crater at the Soufriere Hills Volcano. in 25 minutes, a series of devastating flows swept the northern flanks of the volcano, down Mosquito Ghaut and followed the Paradise River almost to the sea. The flows and associated surge clouds damaged or destroyed between 100 to 150 houses, sweeping over the villages of Farrells, Windy Hill, Streatham, Dyers, Harris, Bethel, Bramble, Trants, Farms and Spanish Point being severely affected.

On Thursday June 25, 2015, last week at 12:55 p.m., the hour of the explosion and pyroclastic flows as shown in the photo here, the church bells on island rang 20 times, 19 times for each person who died and once for unknown persons who may have died. I did not hear these bells as this newspaper would have had to listen to the radio to get the information of these plans.

The public was asked to observe a moment of silence for those who were lost that day and ZJB Radio Montserrat was to carry an observance ceremony.

Nerissa Golden wrote at DiscoverMontserrat.com

We Still Here
20 years Since volcano start blow June 25, 1997 18 years 19 lives gone In a pyroclastic flow We still here. Thousands leave To make new dreams Start families Reconnect with loved ones We still here…

We still here

by DiscoverMNITeam · June 25, 2015

Nerissa Golden

Written by Nerissa Golden (c) 2015.

We Still Here

20 years Since volcano start blow

June 25, 1997

18 years

19 lives gone In a pyroclastic flow

We still here.

Thousands leave

to make new dreams,

Start families,

Reconnect with loved ones

We still here.

Neighbours come,

They help

They build

They stay

We still here.

Masquerade dance

Government change

Promises not kept

Britain gives

Britain takes away

We still here.

Way d cash from d ash?

How day goin’ find us off d grid?

We lose hope.

We make love.

We fight.

We break up.

You leave.

We still here.

We plant.

We reap.

We eat Mangoes

Breadfruit

Guava

We still here.

Waiting

Hoping

Longing

For a hero

To rescue us

From resilience

Our lack of courage

To change

To demand

To expect

To dream

We still here.