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.