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St. Vincent and the Grenadines volcano erupts, prompts thousands to evacuate – an update

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https://www.accuweather.com/en/weather-news/st-vincent-volcano-erupts-prompts-thousands-to-evacuate/929927

By Courtney Travis, AccuWeather senior meteorologist

Updated Apr. 12, 2021, 7:48 AM AST Copied

Hours after an initial eruption of the La Soufriere volcano on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, a second explosion was reported, resulting in a massive plume of smoke and ash.

The largest volcano on the Caribbean island of St. Vincent erupted on Friday in spectacular fashion, sending an ash plume shooting an estimated 52,000 feet into the atmosphere and forcing the evacuation of thousands.

Through the weekend, much of the island was covered in ash from the eruptions that continued on through Friday night. By Sunday night, eruptions were firing up again as conditions worsened.

Dozens of residents required rescuing from the northern part of the island as the new dangers place even more islanders at risk.

A man rides his bicycle along the main Black Rock road, covered with ash coming from the eruption of La Soufriere volcano in the neighboring island of St. Vincent, on the outskirts of Bridgetown, Barbados, Sunday, April 11, 2021. (AP Photo/Chris Brandis)

Richard Robertson, a geologist with the University of the West Indies Seismic Research Centre, said during a Sunday night news conference that there is evidence of pyroclastic flows, the rush of super-heated gas and debris traveling down the mountainside as fast as 120 miles per hour, in the areas around the volcano, NPR reported.

“These flows are really moving masses of destruction,” Robertson said. “They just destroy everything in its path. Even if you have the strongest house in the world, they will just bulldoze it off the ground.”

The abrupt eruptions continued to launch debris and a cloud of ash into the air throughout Sunday night, leaving its remnants scattered throughout the island.

On Saturday, he said the roughly 110,000 residents of St. Vincent, many of whom have already sought refuge on other islands, should expect to see the largest blast of their lifetimes in the coming days

“The explosive eruption has started and it is possible you could have more explosions like these,” he said during a press conference on Saturday, according to NPR. “The first one is not necessarily the worst one, the first bang is not necessarily the biggest bang this volcano will give.”

https://twitter.com/NWSElPaso/status/1381084579616985088?s=20

Very early Sunday morning, the National Emergency Management Organization of St. Vincent and the Grenadines (NEMO SVG) said on Twitter that a “massive power outage” was underway following another “explosive event” of the volcano. The island-wide power outage began just after 1 a.m., local time, on Sunday morning as loud rumblings continued to emit from the volcano, according to News 784 in St. Vincent.

The Prime Minister of St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Ralph Gonsalves said water supplies to most of the island had been cut off and its airspace had been closed due to the smoke and plumes of volcanic ash moving through the atmosphere, according to the BBC.

St. Vincent is a volcanic island located in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean and is home to La Soufrière, its largest volcano.

Around 8:30 a.m., local time, on Friday, the volcano underwent what the scientists at the University of the West Indies (UWI) Seismic Research Center called an “explosive eruption,” spewing ash high into the air.

The NEMO SVG reported later in the morning that the ash plume had reached about 5 miles (8 km) into the air, and ash had fallen at Argyle International Airport. A NOAA-SSEC satellite estimated that the ash traveled an astonishing 52,000 feet into the atmosphere, or about 10 miles up.

Photo from the explosive eruption that occurred at La Soufriere, SVG at 8:41 a.m. local time. Ash has begun to fall on the flanks of the volcano and surrounding communities including Chateaubelair and Petite Bordel. (Photo/UWI Seismic ReasearchCentre)

The explosion of ash was so large that it was visible from space on weather satellites. Southwesterly winds carried the cloud of ash over northern parts of St. Vincent and over the waters of the western Atlantic Ocean between the islands of Saint Lucia and Barbados.

NEMO reported that the ash was extending at least 20,000 feet (more than 6 km) to the northeast of the volcano.

This GOES-16 true-color satellite loop shows what the La Soufriere volcano eruption looked like from space on the morning of April 9, 2021 (GOES-16/NOAA)

Geologist Richard Robertson told News 784 in St. Vincent on Friday that the volcano had returned to a quieter period, but more eruptions are expected to follow.

A second eruption occurred later Friday evening, NEMO reported, jettisoning ash over 2 miles into the atmosphere.

Ash venting resumed at La Soufrière at around 2:45 p.m. local time, the UWI Seismic Research Center reported Friday evening, and lightning could be seen in the ash column. Continuous tremors have been recorded since 3 p.m., and the center noted that the volcano continues its explosive phase which may last several days to weeks.

Friday afternoon, lightning was visible in the volcano’s ash column due to its highly charged nature. (Photo/UWI Seismic Research Centre)

”If there is a much bigger explosion, the ash can spread further to the south,“ Robertson said, adding that, “This could continue for days or weeks, and monitoring will continue.”

The UWI Seismic Research Center first noticed gases spewing from the dome of the volcano on Thursday morning.

As seismic activity continued and became more intense, with magma visible near the surface later on Thursday, the country’s National Emergency Management Organization raised the island’s alert level from orange to red, according to NPR, meaning that eruption was considered “imminent”.

Smoke spews from the glowing dome of the La Soufriere volcano in Saint Vincent and the Grenadines on Thursday, April 8, 2021 (right), and the resulting eruption (left) on Friday, April 9, 2021. (Photos/The UWI Seismic Research Centre)

Around 6:00 p.m. Thursday, Gonsalves announced in a press conference the evacuation order for residents in “red zones” on the northeast and northwest sides of the island.

This evacuation includes roughly 16,000 people on the island, according to WFAA, a WABC affiliate in Dallas, Texas.

Government-led evacuations immediately began, but they were to be assisted by nearby cruise line ships, arriving Friday, to help get people to safety.

However, given the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, evacuations are more complicated than usual.

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Gonsalves said in his press conference that people have to be vaccinated before boarding a cruise ship or to go to another island. The minister also highly recommended those taking shelter in Saint Vincent be vaccinated.

Flights were cancelled at the Argyle International Airport on St. Vincent as well as the Grantley Adams International Airport on the nearby island of Barbados on Saturday, further complicating evacuation efforts.

Even on Friday morning, fresh magma near the surface of the volcano left the sky aglow.

https://www.facebook.com/uwiseismic/photos/a.112065204326/10158019592044327/?type=3

According to CNN, the La Soufrière volcano on St. Vincent has had five explosive eruptions in the past, with the most recent being 1979. There was, however, an uptick in seismic activity more recently in December of 2020.

Gonsalves urged people to be patient and continue to take precautions as experts warned that explosive eruptions from the volcano could continue for days or even weeks, NBC News reported.

In an interview with NBC Radio, Gonsalves said that it could take up to four months for life to return to normal, depending on the extent of the damage. He added that agriculture will be badly affected.

In extremely powerful volcanic eruptions, the ash and aerosols released in the eruption can pass through the troposphere, the lowest layer of Earth’s atmosphere, and penetrate into the stratosphere, the second layer of the atmosphere.

If enough of the ash and other pollutants released in the eruption make it into the stratosphere, they can influence the climate around the globe. The boundary between the troposphere and stratosphere is about 6 miles (10 km) above the ground, a little higher than where commercial jets typically fly.

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No photo description available.

St. Vincent and the Grenadines was preparing for the eruption of La Soufriere volcano

St. Vincent and the Grenadines, preparing for the eruption of La Soufriere volcano

EMERGENCY SHELTERS FOR A VOLCANIC ERUPTION (EXPLOSIVE)

 28th March 2021

https://www.google.com/maps/d/viewer?mid=1RjQeofFX46htCMxbnyArqfxxCSOkbD70&ll=13.25264487913983%2C-61.1971605&z=11

National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO)

EMERGENCY SHELTERS FOR A VOLCANIC ERUPTION (EXPLOSIVE)

LA SOUFRIÈRE BULLETIN #56 APRIL 10, 2021 5:00 P.M

LA SOUFRIÈRE BULLETIN #56 APRIL 10, 2021 5:00 P.M 

  1. The seismic tremor generated by voluminous energetic venting of La Soufrière Volcano continued overnight.

Volcanic Hazard Zones

April 2021 S M T W T F S 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30

Weather Forecast

Meteorological Services, Argyle

10 April 2021

10 April 2021

Press/News Release

No photo description available.

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4 Benefits Of Sleeping With a Garlic Clove Under Your Pillow

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It could be that you live in a time of vampires and werewolves. In this case, sleeping with a clove of garlic under your pillow should also be supported by a silver cross above your bed, holy water at the door, and a wooden stake at your right hand.

If you keep garlic under your pillow below things will happen.

1.Garlic Repels Mosquitoes & Other Bugs

Garlic makes a powerful natural toxic insect repellent. The natural repellent nature of garlic makes it a perfect tool for keeping pests off plants. Garlic water is simple to make and easy to administer. It can be used on vegetables or on flowering plants. keeping garlic under your pillow will avoid mosquitoes and spider bites. mosquitoes attract carbon dioxide when we exhale so eating garlic doesn’t seem to be as effective if u want to repel insects.

2.Garlic Cures Insomnia

Do you suffer from panic attacks or have trouble sleeping? Putting garlic under your pillow will definitely make you have better sleep. this remedy is been used since ancient times. The antioxidant and antimicrobial properties of garlic keep the body fluids and organs healthy and infection-free. It also aids in the healthy functioning of the heart and brain, thus regulating the sleep cycle. magnesium and potassium intake will be high if you eat garlic. it relaxes your muscles by producing a chemical called GABA. GABA is the body’s signal that it’s time to calm down, and it chills out your brain cells so that they can begin the restorative work that happens overnight.

3.Garlic An Anti-Bacteria

Fresh, raw garlic has proven itself since ancient times as an effective killer of bacteria and viruses. it is an anti-bacterial agent that can actually inhibits the growth of infectious agents and at the same time protect the body from pathogens. Once again, we can thank allicin. because it is able to block two groups of enzymes that allow infectious microbes to survive in a host body. Garlic can prevent infection inside or outside the body. so having garlic under your pillow at bedtime will make you sick less.

4.Garlic Makes You Breathe Better

Some compounds garlic can be responsible for bad breath and even body odor. These include Allicin. When the garlic is crushed, it turns into allicin, an antibiotic that fights against fungal and bacterial infection. Garlic can also help clear blocked nasal passages if you are suffering from a cold easing nocturnal breathing and reducing snoring, which in turn aids restful sleep, and also you can crush 3-4 garlic cloves into boiling water and inhale the steam. you will breathe easier than before.

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Senators come together to make daylight saving time permanent

Senators come together to make daylight saving time permanent

Reprint

Sarah K. Burris – March 09, 2021

Senators come together to make daylight saving time permanent

Marco Rubio (MSNBC/Screenshot)

Year after year, particularly in the spring and fall Americans lament Daylight Saving Time, an antiquated way of adjusting the time to help preserve as much light as possible. Many believe it was due to the U.S. agrarian society, but according to the History Channel’s factoids, the agriculture industry actually opposed it.

Germany was the first country to implement the idea on April 30, 1916, and the U.S. first did it in 1918, with Congress attempting to repeal it in 1919.

“Rather than rural interests, it has been urban entities such as retail outlets and recreational businesses that have championed daylight saving over the decades,” said History.com. Tired of ads? Want to support our progressive journalism? Click to learn more.

Sens. Marco Rubio (R-FL), James Lankford (R-OK), Roy Blunt (R-MO), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cindy Hide-Smith (R-MS), Rick Scott (R-FL), and Ed Markey (D-MA) are all endorsing the Sunshine Protection Act, according to a release. Fifteen states have changed their Daylight Saving Time rules and dozens more are also considering doing it. States include Arkansas, Alabama, California, Delaware, Georgia, Idaho, Louisiana, Maine, Ohio, Oregon, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

The time was once isolated to just a few states, but now that there are more states it can create more confusion. The growing list of states is causing more problems as Americans start traveling again and have no idea whether a state is observing the time change or not.

See the release below:

Image

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Mutated virus may reinfect people already stricken once with covid-19, sparking debate and concerns

The Washington Post
Reprint

 Carolyn Y. Johnson, William Wan 

a person standing in front of a brick building: Volunteers deliver coronavirus test kits Thursday west of London as part of surge testing for the virus variant discovered in South Africa.
© Tolga Akmen/AFP/Getty Images Volunteers deliver coronavirus test kits Thursday west of London as part of surge testing for the virus variant discovered in South Africa.

A trial of an experimental coronavirus vaccine detected the most sobering signal yet that people who have recovered from infections are not completely protected against a variant that originated in South Africa and is spreading rapidly, preliminary data presented this week suggests.

The finding, though far from conclusive, has potential implications for how the pandemic will be brought under control, underscoring the critical role of vaccination, including for people who have already recovered from infections. Reaching herd immunity — the threshold when enough people achieve protection and the virus can’t seed new outbreaks — will depend on a mass vaccination campaign that has been constrained by limited supply.

Anthony S. Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, noted that it appears a vaccine is better than natural infection in protecting people, calling it “a big, strong plug to get vaccinated” and a reality check for people who may have assumed that because they have already been infected, they are immune.

In the placebo group of the trial for Novavax’s vaccine, people with prior coronavirus infections appeared just as likely to get sick as people without them, meaning they weren’t fully protected against the B.1.351 variant that has swiftly become dominant in South Africa. The variant has been detected only a handful of times in the United States, including a case reported Friday in Virginia, which became the third state to identify the presence of the virus variant.

The preliminary finding from the South African vaccine trial, based on a data set with limitations, stirred debate and concern among researchers as results first hinted at in a news release last week were revealed more broadly this week.

“The data really are quite suggestive: The level of immunity that you get from natural infection — either the degree of immunity, the intensity of the immunity or the breadth of immunity — is obviously not enough to protect against infection with the mutant,” Fauci said.

Even if they don’t agree on the scope of the threat, scientists said reinfection with new variants is clearly a risk that needs to be explored more. There is no evidence that second cases are more severe or deadly, and a world in which people may have imperfect protection against new versions of the virus is not necessarily a world in which the pandemic never ends.

“I worry especially that some of these premature sweeping conclusions being made could rob people of hope,” said Angela Rasmussen, a virologist at Georgetown University’s Center for Global Health Science and Security. “I worry the message they may receive is that we’re never going to be rid of this. When in fact that’s not what the data suggests.”

She and others emphasized the apparent lack of severe health repercussions from reinfection — and the lack of evidence that reinfection is common.

When Maryland biotechnology company Novavax first disclosed results from two international vaccine trials last week, the company noted in its news release that some people in the trial with earlier infections had become reinfected, probably with the variant B.1.351, which had become dominant during the trial.

On Tuesday, details of the Novavax trial were presented at the New York Academy of Sciences.

About 30 percent of the people in the South African trial had antibodies in their blood at the start of the trial showing they had recovered from an earlier infection.

But that previous exposure didn’t necessarily appear to afford protection. Among those who got saltwater shots, the people with a prior infection got sick at the same rate as study participants who had not been previously infected — a surprise because they would have been expected to have some immunity. Nearly 4 percent of people who had a previous infection were reinfected, an almost identical rate to those with no history of infection.

“It’s awful strong data,” said Larry Corey, a virologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle who is co-leading the federal clinical trial network testing coronavirus vaccines in the United States. “Basically, it’s saying vaccination actually needs to be better than natural immunity. But vaccination is better than natural immunity.”

The study found that two shots of the experimental vaccine did provide protection against the variant.

The reinfection result was incidental to the main objective of the study, which was to determine the vaccine’s efficacy and safety. It was not designed to test the likelihood of reinfection, and others argued that it can’t be used to draw firm conclusions and cautioned against assuming that the previous infection provided no protection.

It also shows the risks of a strategy to reach herd immunity pushed by Scott Atlas, a neuroradiologist and adviser to President Donald Trump, who is said to have endorsed allowing the virus to spread mostly unfettered, while protecting nursing homes and other vulnerable populations. Atlas has repeatedly denied backing such a strategy.

The study backs up recent laboratory data from South African researchers analyzing blood plasma from recovered patients. Nearly half of the plasma samples had no detectable ability to block the variant from infecting cells in a laboratory dish. In a separate study, scientists at Rockefeller University in New York took blood plasma from people who had been vaccinated and found that vaccine-generated antibodies were largely able to block mutations found on the B.1.351 variant.

Novavax did not provide a breakdown of mild, moderate, and severe cases, but severe cases of covid-19 were rare in the trial, suggesting that reinfection is unlikely to send people to the hospital.

“It is not surprising to see reinfection in individuals who are convalescent. And it would not be surprising to see infection in people who are vaccinated, especially a few months out from vaccine,” said Michel Nussenzweig, head of the Laboratory of Molecular Immunology at Rockefeller University. “The key is not whether people get reinfected, it’s whether they get sick enough to be hospitalized.”

Reinfection has always been a possibility, but scientists who design disease models had assumed that natural infection would convey some level of immunity for at least a few months. That figured into some earlier calculations for how America could start approaching herd immunity by this summer or fall. Even with limited vaccination supply and delays in distribution, the hope was that people previously infected would factor in the drive toward herd immunity.

If it turns out that previously infected people could be susceptible to reinfection by variants, that could have implications for when the nation reaches herd immunity.

“Everyone’s still trying to digest this and asking, is this really what’s happening? Because the implications are pretty huge,” said Chris Murray, who leads the modeling team at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. “If the data holds true, it means we will need to walk the public back on the idea of how close we are to the finish line for ending this pandemic.”

Others are less sure. Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist at Harvard University, said he couldn’t draw clear conclusions from the data because it remains limited and preliminary.

“The pace has been dizzying, and several times today, I have learned new things that significantly change my view of those data,” Lipsitch said.

Projections created by data scientist Youyang Gu — whose pandemic models have been cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — suggest that about 65 percent of America’s population will reach immunity by June 1. But built into that 65 percent is roughly 20 percent having immunity from past infections only. Scientists are unsure how the potential for reinfection might influence their projections. They are eager to see if other vaccine trial data in the coming weeks will corroborate the trend from the Novavax trial.

“The sample size so far is small,” Gu said. “We need much more data before we can draw conclusions.”

More data from South Africa will help clarify how common reinfection is and whether it results in severe disease. Researchers are following up with certain groups, such as health-care workers, to quantify reinfection, said Anne von Gottberg, co-head of the Center for Respiratory Diseases and Meningitis at South Africa’s National Institute for Communicable Diseases.

“Several individual cases of reinfection have been confirmed,” Gottberg said in an email. “We may be able to learn from seasonal coronaviruses and the fact that reinfection for these viruses are not uncommon, and start to occur 6 to 12 months after the previous infection.”

The good news is that vaccine trials from Johnson & Johnson and Novavax show that vaccines can work — even against the B.1.351 variant, and particularly in preventing severe illness.

“I think the fact that we … now have data from two vaccines indicating that we can prevent serious disease, even against the new variant, is hopeful,” Penny Moore, a scientist at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in Johannesburg, said in an email. “We need to keep monitoring sequences as these won’t be the last lineages.”

A future concern needing close monitoring is whether the reformulation of vaccines to keep up with the evolving virus could drive the virus to continue evolving. There is also a concern that subpar immunity could allow new resistant variants to emerge. That possibility, Nussenzweig said, is one reason that people should get both doses of a vaccine, on time.

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COVID chart Jan 20 2021

Ministry of Health, Montserrat investigages suspected COVID-19 cases

COVID, Ministry of Health & Social Services, News / 6th February 2021

The following is a release which says that Montserrat’s Ministry of Health and Social Services (MoHSS) is currently investigating possible cases of COVID-19 on the island.

The Ministry has started the contact tracing process while they await the results from tests conducted.

A further update on this will be issued tomorrow, Saturday February 6, 2021, following the results of the tests.  

In the meantime, the Ministry of Health is encouraging persons to practice the recommended social distancing and safety protocols:

  1. Wear a face-covering or mask in business places and on transportation services;
  2. Wash your hands frequently with soap and water or use an alcohol-based sanitizing gel;
  3. When coughing or sneezing, cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your flexed elbow dispose of the tissue immediately and wash your hands;
  4. Avoid close contact with anyone who has coughing and fever;
  5. Practice social distancing.

The Ministry of Health and Social Services will continue to update the public as new information is received.

Unconfirmed response to inquiries as to whether to suspicions are of a person or persons already living on the island, or recent visitors, is that its the latter.

There has not been a positive case since July 2020. It is still puzzling why some of these protocols have been criminalised with heavy fines of $1,000.00 and there is no official advice as to what the public should do to immunise their bodies or how to immediately deal with early symptoms.

It would not be surprising should we see a panic reaction from the ‘authorities’ who have not demonstrated that they in fact have acted with reasonable understanding and hands-on practice with the pandemic.

Visit the Facebook page for information in that regard at: https://www.facebook.com/themontserratreporter/

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The world is ‘on the brink of a catastrophic moral failure’ by failing to get vaccines to poorer countries, the WHO warns

BUSINESS
INSIDER

Dr. Catherine Schuster-Bruce

nigeria covid-19
Bidemi Aye receives a pre-paid debit card for cash and food provided by World Food Programme (WFP) in a makeshift home in the Makoko riverine slum settlement in Lagos, Nigeria on November 27, 2020. Pius Utomi Ekpei/AFP via Getty Images
  • The world was “on the brink of catastrophic moral failure,’ over vaccine distribution, the head of the World Health Organization said Monday.
  • Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said it was not right that younger, healthier adults in rich countries are vaccinated before health workers and older people in poorer countries.
  • “A me-first approach leaves the world’s poorest and most vulnerable people at risk, it’s also self-defeating,” Ghebreyesus said.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

The world is “on the brink of catastrophic moral failure” by failing to give vaccines to poorer countries, the head of the World Health Organization said Monday.

“It is not right that younger, healthier adults in rich countries are vaccinated before health workers and older people in poorer countries,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the director-general at the WHO, said during an executive board session.

Governments naturally want to prioritize their own health workers and older people — but they need to come together to prioritize those most at risk of severe diseases and death around the world, he said. 

“More than 39 million doses of vaccine have now been administered in at least 49 higher-income countries, but just 25 doses have been given in one lowest-income country,” Tedros said. 

A “me-first approach” was “self-defeating”, ultimately prolonging the pandemic, as well as the restrictions needed to contain it and both the human and economic suffering, he said.

Research from Duke University’s Global Health Innovation Center predicted that it could take years to roll out vaccines in poorer countries due to vaccine cost and availability, as well as a lack of infrastructure to transport, store, and distribute the shots.

Tedros said that countries and companies had promised equitable access by signing up to COVAX, a voluntary scheme to ensure vaccine distribution worldwide launched. COVAX was launched by the WHO, Gavi vaccine alliance, and the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).

But certain countries and companies have gone around COVAX, he said, putting themselves first and in doing so driving up prices.

Manufacturers had also prioritized regulatory approval in rich countries where profits are highest, he added. 

He did not name any specific countries or companies.

He urged countries that had circumnavigated COVAX – and that have control of supply – to be transparent about their contracts, and share any excess vaccines.

“My challenge to all member states is to ensure that by […] April 7, COVID-19 vaccines are being administered in every country, as a symbol of hope for overcoming both the pandemic and the inequalities that lie at the root of so many global health challenges,” he said.

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14-day quarantine period required for all travelers to Montserrat

As the Government of Montserrat (GoM) continues its vigilance in attempting to keep the island COVID-19 (and any variant thereof) free after its demonstrated ignorance or its lacking of alertness at the beginning and before the pandemic announcement.

According to the following release of a decision, “in light of concerns regarding a new variant of COVID-19 which was recently discovered in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe,” GoM has decreed that all persons “traveling to Montserrat will be required to quarantine for 14 days…”

The release dated Wednesday, December 23, 2020, follows:

 –  As of 12:01 a.m. on December 26, 2020, all persons traveling to Montserrat will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

This decision was made in Cabinet this morning, in light of concerns regarding a new variant of COVID-19 which was recently discovered in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, and which Health Experts say can spread more quickly than prior strains of the virus. 

As a result, Cabinet has decided that, except for those classes of people who are specifically exempted under S.R.O 80 of 2020, all other individuals arriving in Montserrat must quarantine for the full 14 days, including those staying in Government approved quarantine facilities.

Those exempted from the quarantine requirement are: Non-Resident Technicians granted permission to travel to Montserrat; a member of the crew of an aircraft or ship; and a person who has been granted permission by the Minister of Health to enter Montserrat for the purpose of aiding with preparations for a disaster or after a disaster.

Individuals traveling to Montserrat are reminded that a negative PCR COVID-19 Test and pre-travel registration are still required prior to entering Montserrat.  The PCR COVID-19 Test must be undertaken no earlier than seven days prior to entering Montserrat.

Members of the public are also urged to continue practicing the recommended health and safety precautionary measures, to include wearing a face covering, social distancing, and sanitisation.

As the Government of Montserrat (GoM) continues its vigilance in attempting to keep the island COVID-19 (and any variant thereof) free after its demonstrated ignorance or its lacking of alertness at the beginning and before the pandemic announcement.

According to the following release of a decision, “in light of concerns regarding a new variant of COVID-19 which was recently discovered in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe,” GoM has decreed that all persons “traveling to Montserrat will be required to quarantine for 14 days,”

The release dated Wednesday, December 23, 2020, follows:

 –  As of 12:01 a.m. on December 26, 2020, all persons traveling to Montserrat will be required to quarantine for 14 days.

This decision was made in Cabinet this morning, in light of concerns regarding a new variant of COVID-19 which was recently discovered in the United Kingdom and parts of Europe, and which Health Experts say can spread more quickly than prior strains of the virus. 

As a result, Cabinet has decided that, except for those classes of people who are specifically exempted under S.R.O 80 of 2020, all other individuals arriving in Montserrat must quarantine for the full 14 days, including those staying in Government approved quarantine facilities.

Those exempted from the quarantine requirement are: Non-Resident Technicians granted permission to travel to Montserrat; a member of the crew of an aircraft or ship; and a person who has been granted permission by the Minister of Health to enter Montserrat for the purpose of aiding with preparations for a disaster or after a disaster.

Individuals traveling to Montserrat are reminded that a negative PCR COVID-19 Test and pre-travel registration are still required prior to entering Montserrat.  The PCR COVID-19 Test must be undertaken no earlier than seven days prior to entering Montserrat.

Members of the public are also urged to continue practicing the recommended health and safety precautionary measures, to include wearing a face covering, social distancing, and sanitisation.

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Sourfriere-Hills-MVO-Fb

Martinique Steps Up Vigilance Over Activity At Mount Pelée Volcano

Reprint
TMR: Martinique going on alert – In contrast, see below Montserrat Soufriere Hills volcano report for week ending Friday, December 4 2020
Martinique – Mount Pelée Volcano

December 4, 2020

Experts in neighbouring Martinique are stepping up their vigilance as a result of activity at Mount Pelée Volcano and have raised the level of alert, local reports say.

Martinique 1ere  on Friday quoted Fabrice Fontaine, the Director of the Volcano and Seismology Observatory in the French overseas territory, as saying that the experts had urged a switch to a yellow level alert.

He said it meant stepping up vigilance including aerial reconnaissance.

Yellow is the third level of vigilance on a scale that has 5.

The next step is the pre-alert, in orange then the alert in red.

However, the Prefect of Martinique, Stanislas Cazelles, says the yellow alert is no precursor of signs of an eruption.

“This reminds us that Pelée is a living volcano. We are going to strengthen its surveillance. This yellow alert is not an alert for the population but for scientists”, he explained.

“We detected a reactivation of Mount Pelee. This is normal. On the other hand, we have absolutely no precursor sign of an eruption but it could occur on the scale of a few years or perhaps less, ” Marc Chaussidon, director of the Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris, was quoted by RCI.FM as saying.

Last September  51 volcano-tectonic type tremors had been recorded on Mount Pelée and the number has been increasing since November last year, local reports say.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory – Weekly Report

Soufriere Hills volcano view from Plymouth

27 November to 04 December 2020

Activity at the Soufrière Hills Volcano remains low.

The seismic network recorded five volcano-tectonic earthquakes this week.

Measurements of SO2 flux were taken from the helicopter on 01 December and 02 December. The average flux values were 337 tonnes per day on the 01 December from eight traverses and 172 tonnes per day on 02 December from eight traverses.

Due to the large size of the lava dome, 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.

This report along with additional information on the Soufrière Hills Volcano and the Hazard Level System can be found at the MVO website: www.mvo.ms. Old weekly reports can be downloaded from http://www.mvo.ms/pub/Activity_Reports/. You can also follow @mvoms on both Facebook and Twitter.

Graham A. Ryan
Director

Monitoring Data Summary

Seismic Activity (number of events)

  This week Last week Last 4 weeks (weekly average)
Rockfalls 0 0 1
VT earthquakes 5 7 8
Hybrid earthquakes 0 0 0
LP earthquakes 0 0 0

Last year (Nov 29 – Dec 6 VT earthquakes 9 14 10

Sulphur Dioxide Flux (tonnes per day)

  This week Last week Last 4 weeks
Average 255 326 n/a
Maximum 441 387 n/a
Minimum 147 209 n/a

Note: The numbers provided in the tables above are provisional and may be subject to change after further analysis of the data.

Posted in Environment, International, Local, Regional, Volcano0 Comments

Devastation in the village of Harris’ Below is the same area two weeke before

25 years unforgotten memory of volcanic destruction – ‘fighting’? volcano destruct, now COVID-19

In a Government of Montserrat release, for what or any significance that may be attached, superstitiously or otherwise, it declared that July 15, 2020, was “declared a public holiday on Montserrat, in observance of 25 years since the start of volcanic activity.”

It almost evaded my attention until the very day, having not seen the promised “order of service” which, “with other details was to be published at a later date. Meantime the day July 15, would be “observed as a National Day of Prayer, Reflection, and Thanksgiving, under the theme ‘25 Years on, we are still here’.  The National Day of Prayer and Thanksgiving service will be held at 5:00 p.m. at the Look Out Catholic Church.”

Yet to be forgotten as a time in history, with Montserrat is not yet near a place or time a quarter of a century (25 years) later that it can say the loss was for better days, as it has been for others with somewhat similar experience.

It is still confusing why that holiday was not given on the eve which was Friday.

As for the theme, which seemed an effort at expressing some pride by those saying it, but to me, it is quite empty. Giving God thanks, of course, but…

Five years ago, remembering this day from 20 years prior, in the article under a headline caption “Bringing 20 year volcanic crisis perspectives – Recapturing: THE VOLCANO and DEATH, we opened: “In this week’s issue we mostly feature articles and reports from first issues after July 18, 1995 and from immediately after June 25, 1997.

“This, especially in light of discussions that have taken place as a committee set up to plan the 20th-year anniversary of the beginning of what is still referred to as the eruption of Soufriere Hills volcano; “where we came from, where we ought to be, and where we want to go.”

There were some memorable times from that commemoration. It is that which makes us declare the theme of this year’s Thanksgiving seems wrong. Expect more on this.

At that time we also wrote referring to articles from 1995 on…, “… we still hope our readers may now, following, hearing or having heard or followed the debate and discussions, make their own determination as to where we are and know where we are going.

We wish the conversation now would be updated with real pride but we still find we must say, Really, as is said it is time for action. “Everyone”, they say, “has their part to play.” And isn’t odd though that those last words, we have heard them time and time again. Still more to come.

So like 20 years ago and often enough we present as we recapture for the benefit of going forward and for those who might now get a sense of then.

For Bishop Melroy’s references:

https://www.themontserratreporter.com/mdc-shut-down-montserrat-back-five-years/

It is fifteen years on and featured speaker Bishop Melroy Meade said that one day was not enough. In a passionate message, he called for a week of Thanksgiving during which time residents would give thanks to God for his protection, preservation, and faithfulness over the last fifteen years. The congregation that came together to give God thanks appeared to have agreed with him.

Bishop Meade likened the experience in Montserrat to that of Job when everything he had was taken away, but he pointed to a better day which is coming. He also referred to the determination, resoluteness, and pride of a people who have suffered greatly. Like Job, people don’t understand what Montserratians went through but when they become familiar with the island, the resilience of the people they too want to embrace it, he said.

According to Bishop Meade, “The truth is our trials come to make us strong and life cost what it cost and it never goes on sale.”

By Bennette Roach

Devastation in the village of Harris’ Below is the same area two weeke before
Devastation in the village of Harris’

One of the conditions the British Governor of Montserrat and the local Government never wanted to exist, is that they would ever have to report that lives were lost as a direct result of volcanic activity in Montserrat.

On the night of July 18, 1995, residents not far away from Soufriere Hills could hear what they later described as roaring sounds like those that come from jet planes, and it was soon realized by all that a volcano that lay in waiting at English Crater in Soufriere Hills had come alive.

Soon after from several and continuous radio broadcasts, and interviews from scientists, the Governor and the Chief Minister, his office and the offices of the Emergency Operating Centre (EOC), we were to learn that there has always been this volcano, that there have been activities at approximately 30 – 35-year intervals since the turn of this century; that there have been studies, one as recent as the mid-80s, which suggested that there will be serious activities around this time.

No attention whatever was paid to these facts and so here we were in July, less than a month under two years ago, with an erupting volcano and every resident as ignorant as ever to the dangers that this could pose for Montserrat. Since that time it has been a downhill battle, which may have not yet culminated, but which has now directly claimed the lives of at least 10 people with more almost certain to be confirmed when the ash becomes cool enough to be cleared in some way.

1997 6 24 pics
Home demolished by the power and volume of the flow

June 25, 1997, will be long remembered as the worst day of the volcano (I hope) because lives were lost. And the question that is being asked, “Could this have been avoided?” Amazingly, the homes in Long Ground are still standing untouched but for the September 17 last year’s eruption. It may well be that the Tar River valley is their protection or perhaps it is early yet.

MVO Reports

The Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) report for that morning read as follows: The latest earthquake swarm has just reached a peak, with 4 or 5 earthquakes occurring every minute. At the time of the highest activity, the hybrid earthquakes could more accurately be described as continuous tremors. There have been several small pyroclastic flows in Mosquito Ghaut in the last hour. Observations of the dome last night showed that the top of Mosquito Ghaut is the only active area of the dome at the moment, as the focus of activity has switched from the eastern side to the north in the last few days.

Further pyroclastic flow activity is expected, and the high level of activity means that these flows could happen at any time and be larger than before. The current area of activity makes Mosquito Ghaut the most likely pathway, but further flows in Gages, Tuitt’s, or Tar River are probable as well.”

The following recently became a standard part of the report: Bramble Airport remains operational, but the public is reminded that it is open only for essential travel purposes. The sirens will be tested as usual this afternoon.”

Now following is the evening report following the disaster: “An intense swarm of hybrid earthquakes began at 11 a.m., and rapidly escalated to repetitive events which merged into continuous tremor after 12:15 p.m. At about 1 p.m. major pyroclastic flow activity began in Mosquito Ghaut, which generated an ash cloud to over 30,000 ft within minutes. The flow traveled into Farms River to Trants Bridge. Downriver of Bramble, the flows fanned out into Bethel and Spanish Point almost to the sea. On the northern side, Farms and Trants villages were affected, and the surge reached to Trants bridge. A total of at least 2 square kilometers of land was covered by the pyroclastic flow and surge.

The lower half of Harris village was also impacted, and an ash surge traveled from the Farrell’s area down to the west at least as far as Dyers, and into the upper reaches of Dyer’s Ghaut. There was no activity in the Gages valley during the afternoon.

During the time of the reported activities above, there were people tending their animals and gardens in the Farrell’s and surrounding areas, some of whom perished; there were people in Harris’ and areas way down to Trants, Bethel and Spanish Pointe, Bramble village, etc. who were either visiting their properties or living there. Except for those properties on the perimeter of Mosquito Ghaut in Harris’, individuals were able to avoid the fury of the ash surge from the flow by moving to even higher grounds, but not those in the other areas which were all on lower ground and not far from the ghaut which became more shallow as it nears the sea.

So that just as the report above described, confirmed by the eye witness account of Roy ‘Slim’ Daley from Bramble village who was in Harris’ at the time. He said: “I saw the surges coming back up the hill from the pyroclastic flows, which moved at incredible speed down towards Farms and Trants, breaking over the walls at Brambles and rushing down towards Spanish Pointe through Bethel.”

Fatalities

Soon we were to hear the calls of the authorities for persons to advise them of persons who were known to have been in the areas for one reason another. Both the Governor and the Chief Minister appeared on the radio to tell the nation about the rescue efforts that were underway, never admitting then that there might be fatalities following the activities.

But having seen the results of the forerunning pyroclastic flows, I was certain that the persons who I discovered were in their homes or in the area, had met an unfortunate end.

Other than the sketchy and well-monitored reports that came from Government Information Unit (GIU) and ZJB, the rest of the local media was reduced to press conferences which were cut short and severely limited by interviewees who gave much too long answers, having been denied views from the helicopter or access to the area other than the rest of the general public was entitled to.

By the end of the following day, the admission of fatalities was announced and the count grew each day from four to ten by Monday. It was on Saturday when the CM came close to saying that there may be more dead who are still difficult to get to because of the still searing hot ash that lay deposited on the ground.

THE DISASTER

1997 6 24 pics a
Helicopters involved in the search and rescue missions

I was finally afforded a trip to look at the damage done on Wednesday by EMAD, on a helicopter which is one of four helicopters brought in from different sources to aid the ‘search and rescue’ effort.

The trip was not like any I’ve had and did not afford me the opportunity for detail as I rode with David Brandt and 2 others, plus Caribbean Broadcasting Union (CBU) cameraman and video cameras. with another from Trinidad. It was only a 20-minute trip, far too short.

However, the devastation is much greater than I imagined. The lands (forest) between Tuitts and Mosquito Ghauts is no more. Although not filled with material the pyroclastic was extremely powerful as it left the volcano and that’s when the surge immediately went over Farrells and down Streatham and across Windy Hill. The Farrells estate house is completely gone and so is Mandy’s garage on the corner below the graveyard. It went through the bottom of Windy Hill and well across and into the ghaut beyond.

Escapee

One eye witness woman who escaped and who eventually went back to collect money she left in a vehicle, found it but had walked via Water Works, retracing her steps to get to it. She said she had to go reap the carrots because she was under so much pressure from the government to supply vegetables to shelters.

She got the money but the vehicle she had to leave. She described the flow that she saw as “sweet oil” running down the hill, noting how the flow backed up when the heat.

Looking down on the Harris’ road Mosquito ghaut is next to it. The surge reached across the road to the Police Station and burnt all those houses including the Church. These were not completely demolished but nevertheless destroyed, from the Morgan’s house down the hill towards farm, then there is one mass of destruction down through Farms, Bethel, Spanish Pointe, Trants.

Since that of course more flows and reports have stated that more damage was done in Harris’. I could see the walls of some of the houses in Farms, Bramble village, and Spanish Pointe, but it is obvious that truly there may be about 10 feet of material lying on the lands.

Trants village was completely demolished, hardly recognised any walls standing and it did seem such a vast area.

I saw how the flow over Farrells ran down and into the top of Belham.

I can now report that for Plymouth, we can expect worse to come along, it already looks a disaster. The flows that have been going down Gages and Fort Ghaut seemed to have damaged houses high up on the Gages corner and down the fringes of the ghaut. The Catholic convent and infant school and even the Church are now like the rest of the property in that vicinity are now in line for certain disaster as long as flows continue. At the foot of Gage’s mountain, the ghauts as I can remember are somewhat shallow, so that serious flows are likely to spread early over to Amersham as it has reportedly done.

I hardly had time for any detail or even good photographs as I was shooting through the helicopter sealed windows. Looking at the photographs, I do not remember where the various scenes are, and I was unable to make notes.

The helicopters are being operated from Geralds and joining them is that from the British navy ship.

Posted in Business/Economy/Banking, Climate/Weather, COVID-19, Environment, International, Local, News, OECS, Regional0 Comments

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