Volcanic eruption concerns

Shillingford wants several areas addressed in case of a volcanic eruption
Shillingford wants several areas addressed in case of a volcanic eruption

Former National Disaster Coordinator (NDC), Cecil Shillingford, is of the view that some areas must be addressed in case of a volcanic eruption on the island.

He is concerned about nation’s roads and the location of the island’s population.

“First and foremost one of our biggest problems is most of our roads are dead ends,” he said. “If you go in one way, you have to come out the same way. That is going to be a major challenge for us.”

He pointed out that Dominica’s population could pose a problem since a large number of people live in areas that could be affected by a volcanic eruption.

“For any of the scenarios, whether it be Morne Watt, Nicotrine or even Soufriere, you pretty much have to move half of the population to the north of Dominica,” he stated. “There are about 35,000 people living in the catchment areas. If you move 35,000 people from the south to the north you do not have enough housing, public or private …”

Shillingford said he would recommend some level of evacuation out of Dominica if a volcano erupts on a massive scale.

“So that you have a smaller population to deal with, with the hope that they would return,” he noted.

Last year, experts from the Seismic research center projected that the country’s main town Roseau is “extremely vulnerable” to volcanic eruptions as with the exception of Morne Diablotin and Morne Aux Diables, all other volcanoes are located within 10 kilometers of Roseau.

They also called for the necessary infrastructure to be put in place, as the next volcanic eruption is likely to occur in the south of the island.


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  1. JoJo
    June 7, 2014

    The Government of Montserrat got the same warning and no one listened. They were told to move the town to the North and the warning was brushed off. Now nearly 20 years later after lost lives and mass evacuation the town is being rebuilt in the North. Its best to take heed than to go through the turmoil Montserrat is still going through.

  2. life
    June 6, 2014

    Question time the government was proper planning done before the commencement of the plant.. was It undercover deals made. Am not against the geothermal project but am in fear of the lives of Dominican even at nigh. Earthquake a felt frequently. Let’s not be ignorance.

  3. Anonymous
    June 6, 2014

    They know something we don’t

  4. my 2cents
    June 6, 2014

    Just last week a guyanese asked me what is the national evacuation plan if one of these volcanoes ws to erupt and I had no intelligent answer. We will be talking about urgent mass evacuations on a scale never seen in dca before. Honestly have already told myself that what ever I do I would be dead especially since I don’t know the plan.

  5. Nigga
    June 6, 2014

    I hope the persons who deal with infrastructure takes heed and make the necessary changes to assist the people of Dominica in case of such disaster. I think this committee should (NDC) should work closely with the government to make sure changes take place.

  6. June 6, 2014

    Mr. Shillingford, Thanks for Sharing, explaining, and Informing of possibilities.
    Who Will Now Listen? Who Heard the message? Who is Responsible? Who Will Do? What Must Be Done?
    Thank You To All Concerned,Hearers and Doers OF THE WORD. It Is Better To Obey Than To Sacrifice.

  7. 100% Dominican
    June 6, 2014

    Very intelligent observations by Cecil. Laudat for example is at serious risk should there be any sort of incident, including on the tenth of June when the upcoming test is to take place. If I was living in Laudat, I would not be anywhere near the village on the tenth as if something were to happen, there is only one way out and that is downhill. I think that the government appears to be showing a total disregard for the safely of the people as they pursue the geothermal project. One of the most telling things about their attitude is that ALL THE ORGANISATION RELATED TO THE ‘EVACUATION PLAN’ AND ALL RELATED PREPARATIONS are being pushed by a concerned citizen by the name of Gary Shillingford who seems to be working vigorously on this with what appears to be NO help whatever from any government department. The Office of Disaster Preparedness does not seem to be part of any of the meetings organized to talk of preparedness in the event of a catastrophic incident and they seem to be making NO statements otherwise. IS THE GOVERNMENT INVOLVED IN ANY WAY IN PREPARATIONS FOR EVACUATION OR OTHERWISE IN RESPONSE TO ANY POSSIBLE DISASTER AS IT RELATES TO VOLCANIC ACTIVITY?

    • icepop
      June 6, 2014

      if you was living in Laudat you would have known that government agencies have held several meetings in Laudat. so continue to live as if you were living! all you just like to run all you mouth!

      • Peeping Tom
        June 7, 2014

        Well said.

  8. weworking
    June 6, 2014


    • neutral
      June 6, 2014

      He has been speaking long time. This government is not hearing. He has asked there to be jetties in the southern communities given that there is one way in, the same way out. you and your ignorance …… Lord have mercy.

    • Lang Mama
      June 7, 2014

      No wonder the Labor Party M.O is focused on people with boowik mentality . Keep them stupid, ignorant and poor yet loyal. Ask the senior counsel about the manual that Chavez gave them. Ask them About the PIL- Poverty Ignorance and Loyalty. I hope you rid yourself of thst P.I.L.

    • Peeping Tom
      June 7, 2014

      You have spoken like a thinking Dominican. I am proud of you.

    • D/ca pride
      June 8, 2014

      U need to listen to yourself , u sound so egnorant from the outside,,are u a Dominican ? I guess not ,, cuz we are not that stupid

  9. Lookit
    June 6, 2014

    There is an evacustion plan in place for years sine Freedom, Cecil you know that,you were there and you never made one suggestion,now you running your mouth,this just shows sour grapes!

  10. start
    June 6, 2014

    I always thought about what dominica would do if a volcanic eruption were to take place. Good point Mr Shillingford. Anything can happen anytime.

  11. look out
    June 6, 2014

    Dominica is not prepared for any major disaster. If you don’t have proper roads, hospitals, ambulance services, trammer centers, all local village educated on disaster preparations, we are in big trouble. We cannot prevent and save everyone from natural disasters, but we still have to be prepared. Just as we might never get in to a vehicle accident, we still have to have insurance.

    If we have not learnt from hurricane David, we will never learn. With only one operating airport in the country, if it is destroyed or impassable to get to, how are we going to get quick international help. Please government think, and be prepared for the worst. A stitch in time saves nine. We are all in this together. Put away politics, religion, color, race etc, and concentrate on the big human picture. We have this mosquito borne disease in Dominica, it does not affect Labor, Freedom, UWP, it affects all and does not discriminate. Let us all work together, is just “if” a disaster is going to happen, but “When”. PREPARE.

  12. laborte 4 fun
    June 5, 2014

    Now why is the parliamentary representative so silent about his party s position on the safety of the valley people? does he really care if they live or die? I wonder if he feels good about receiving a salary for NOT representing the people? Does he know that receiving money under false pretense is rubbery? But what am i saying? I forget who these guys really are !
    Go on Dr. Mc destroy the Valley…that’s your legacy.

  13. immigraniada
    June 5, 2014

    I think tragic events of Monserrat should always be a reminder that Dominica as we all know it might be gone one day….

  14. Zanndoli
    June 5, 2014

    What I fear most is not just the hold up in land traffic, but I ask myself which plane or boat will come to our shores knowing an eruption is imminent or during the eruption, so how can we get out in time?.

  15. Francisco Telemaque
    June 5, 2014

    “There are about 35,000 people living in the catchment areas. If you move 35,000 people from the south to the north you do not have enough housing, public or private …”

    Shillingford, I may commend you for not been shortsighted; you may be a lone visionary in this respect. The conditions which you observed has been in existence for quite a long time. The arrears of the South you mentioned are another Town of St. Pierre waiting to happen. It is common knowledgeable that Dominica has the most active volcano’s in the world, and they are practically all located in the South of the island.

    The nations priority should be to develop the North, build a new city, I have been to villages which population is much more than thirty five thousand people; it is not all that difficult to relocate thirty-five thousand people. However, there must be some planing, priority must first of all be given to a modern day sewer system, in order to avoid the distribution of too much land to any one individual to prevent thousands of pit-holes. With that out of the way, the building of Track Homes should be adapted, in that case the houses will be built in close proximity to each other.

    Had it not been for such system of building there are places in the world that living accommodation would be nonexistence. Secondly, I would hope that there is an evacuation plan to rapidly move people off the island in the event of something catastrophe. There is a place between Marigot, and Wesley: If you commenced building houses from the old Police Station from Marigot to Londonderry, ending just past the bridge, you can accommodate more than thirty-five thousand homes.

    And if you continue building connecting Wesley to Woodford Hill, you could well accommodate millions of buildings: Problem solve; as easy as that! For the information of those who has never heard of the Town of St. Pierre, that town was wiped out somewhere in the 1900’s on the island of Martinique, there was only one survivor, and the reason he survived was because he was in jail underground serving time.

    The event was the eruption of Mont Pele’e which erupted in the North of Martinique in 1902. Parts of Dominica was covered with volcanic ash from the eruption. Our worry should not only be the eruption of volcanoes, but the pending flood which usually wipe-out Roseau every hundred years or so.

    Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

    • Simply the Truth
      June 9, 2014

      If and when it happens – if ever, there will be a way. No exception if it occurs in the US where you reside. I hear of the forest fires or whatever you call them in California which devastated many houses. Through the years, many people have had to evacuate. They found a way.
      I would not worry about it. It is the government’s job. Let them worry about it. They are considering what would be the appropriate plan should there be a volcanic eruption. What if it occurred while people are sleeping?
      The people should prepare for disasters, a small luggage they could take with basic, necessities. This is what they should be concerned about. However, most of all pray to God and ask his protection that a volcano will not erupt or he will shield them from such a disaster.
      As it is stated, “God governs the world but prayers govern God.”

  16. Karl Marx
    June 5, 2014

    well said…. am sure a lot will not even read what you say thoroughly before branded you anti.

  17. Anonymous
    June 5, 2014

    good vibes

  18. Consumer
    June 5, 2014

    Let us all leave Dominica and relocate because according to the experts, it is not if, but when. What a scenario for “isle of Beauty Isle of splendour. What future does Dominica have in a situation like this? We are living on a time bomb and it could happen any time. What a way to live your life. The Disaster Coordinator wants us to keep that threat alive an dwell in our every day lives. Imagine.

    • Simply the Truth
      June 9, 2014

      Where in this world could you go to avoid disasters? You should know there is no place to run and hide. You may go to one place and a disaster could strike. Fortunate for those who may never experience disasters.
      Consider how many people who resided in D/ca, some have since passed away, some migrated to other countries and who did not experience a volcanic eruption or not a major hurricane.
      Some people go on a vacation and while there a disaster strikes or they were fatally wounded.
      I recall after 9/11, some US people were wondering where would be a safe place to live. What State could they live in? A strict Priest who celebrated Holy Mass on Eternal Word Television Network – EWTN who always told it like it is said, “The best State to be in is, in the State of Grace.” :lol: If you are a Catholic Christian you would know what this means. I loved that. I laughed at this one; have not forgotten it.
      Do you think where I reside is safe? By no means but I have to live and to go about my business. Prior to leaving to go out and as I do, I pray to God to protect me.
      You know people get killed at their workplace by an employee or a former employee. We are also not safe from criminals and their evil activities. How many people die through gun shots as they are minding their business and going about their business?
      Early this Sunday morning there was a terrible fire in a Toronto suburb which destroyed 18 houses. People were asleep. A ten year-old boy died. He was not a resident in one of the houses. He was sleeping over at the home. The police is investigating also for possible arson.
      Simply place your confidence in God as you worship him and you will not fear. Fear is useless. There is nothing to fear but fear alone.

  19. shaka zulu
    June 5, 2014

    Hampstead, calibishi, woodfordhill, and marigot have enough space.
    Wesley also

    • Francisco Telemaque
      June 6, 2014

      There is plenty of land at Hampstead, belonging to the late Robert Douglas, it seems the remainder of his children, nor grandchildren want the many archers of he left. Indeed a whole new modern City can be built at Hampstead.

      The problem is “dem Douglas boys” might rather die than allow the nation to benefit by utilizing the land in a useful purpose of saving lives.

      Plymouth Montserrat no longer exists, it took less than one night to disappear under volcanic ash, Brades Montserrat rise like the Phoenix from the ash; and has become the capital city of Montserrat: Are we going to wait until the disaster arrive to act; or should we get prepared in the interim?

      Francisco Etienne-Dods Telemaque

      • Simply the Truth
        June 9, 2014

        Leave the Douglases and their land alone. :) Hampstead is the Douglas family land. Immediate members of their family are buried there. There are also young Douglases. They will eventually inherit the land. It will pass from generation to generation.
        It is a nice place. When I resided in D/ca, I attended one of R.B. Douglas’ daughter’s wedding at Portsmouth. The reception was held at Hampstead.
        Family land cannot be sold easily especially where a big family is concerned with grand children, great grand children and other relatives.
        Montserrat is a much smaller place than Dominica. While the government devises a plan, people can act with prayers of protection. Nothing beats prayers.

  20. derp
    June 5, 2014

    “So that you have a smaller population to deal with, with the hope that they would return,” he noted. Hope that they would return… you know they not going to come back if that ever happens….

  21. i must speak
    June 5, 2014

    hum… some food for thought! :-|

  22. Concern Citizen
    June 5, 2014

    I think Mr. Shillingford is right we definitely need some sort of evacuation plan. Starting with the rehabilitation of the roads in Wotten Waven for example, if there is a volcanic eruption God forbids. We, could be Land bond as the existing road is a single lane rollercoaster ride through hug potholes which can be blocked by a landslide with the slightest rain.

  23. Anonymous
    June 5, 2014

    oh …., that has always been my fear.

  24. 4u2C
    June 5, 2014

    Should their be a major volcanic eruption in the area I hope the President will be in his Palace, The Bishop in the presbytery, Skerrit at his desk with red clinic in effect and the all ministers in ministry. So we will all journey peacefully to the other side saying, ” Thank God for Skerrit”!!

    • ?
      June 5, 2014

      I understand you very well. It cannot be that these people are eating tax payers money and are so clueless as to what needs to be done. Reasons why they will be kicked out soon.

      • Peeping Tom
        June 7, 2014

        Keep dreaming!

        FYI, the ONLY party that has proven to take disaster management seriously is the DLP. You could ask the Great Cecil Shillingford, or the erudite Lennox Honychurch, the response willl be unanimous. This administration has not only been active, empathetic, and supportive but also pro-active. Much is left to be done but, you cannot fail this government for disaster management.

    • Consumer
      June 5, 2014

      You know what you sound like? A real hater who simply cannot see any good not even with your own existence

    • Anonymous
      June 5, 2014

      God forbid

      but from your comment ……you are a lost soul!

    • Anonymous
      June 5, 2014


    • truth
      June 5, 2014

      to much politics

    • Phew!
      June 5, 2014

      What a callous statement; ask the Lord to rid you of that bitterness or you will journey, may not peacefully to the other side much earlier than your assigned time.

    • Mastermind
      June 6, 2014

      OHHHH! I like this, this is where they should be…no seriously I really really like this!

    • Anonymous
      June 6, 2014

      This is very low and senseless. If you guys are doing this so you can become center of attraction in the comments.,You are just succeeding in proving what you really are. I think you know it in your heart.

    • Jail-corrupt-leaders
      June 6, 2014

      Great post 4u2c

    • weworking
      June 6, 2014


    • MUDD
      June 6, 2014

      You sound like an angry child who didn’t get any dinner before bed.

      • Peeping Tom
        June 7, 2014


    • dayandnightvision
      June 6, 2014

      I am so disappointed in your statement. Are you serious??????????

    • Stop-De-Rape
      June 7, 2014

      @4u2C I could not agree with you more.

    • Anonymous
      June 10, 2014

      PPL this is a sarcastic statement which i find very reasonable and amusing. Interesting.

  25. curious
    June 5, 2014


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