Some areas above the Dry River may be deemed uninhabitable
RIVERBEDS AND adjoining areas in the northern part of St Vincent are among places that will likely be deemed uninhabitable due to threats of volcanic hazards.
This is the direction in which the government is moving as it continues its efforts for the relocation and resettlement of residents who have been displaced by the volcanic eruptions this year.
Prime Minister Dr Ralph Gonsalves was speaking on NBC radio this week when he disclosed Cabinet’s intention to formally appoint a committee to assess areas in the red volcanic hazard zone which are unsafe for people to live.
He said the decision to form the Committee was taken following discussions with scientists from the UWI Seismic Research Centre on areas north of the Dry River where persons would not be allowed to resettle.
“So, we’re moving back north of the Dry River, but there are certain places where we would not allow building to take place or living, particular areas within particular communities. The people would know what they are, but we have to demarcate them and they have to be presented to the Cabinet and then published so that everybody will know…” Gonsalves said.
The Committee, which is being formulated under Section 29 of the NEMO Act, is headed by the Chief Physical Planner, Dornet Hull, and also includes the Director of the National Emergency Management Organisation (NEMO); the Chief Engineer or a representative; the Forestry Division; the Chief Surveyor; Geologist professor Richard Robertson, who will serve as advisor to the committee; and
Dr. Erouscilla Joseph, director of the UWI Seismic Research Centre who will offer technical advice. Gonsalves said the committee has a mandate to complete its task within a two-week period and that the work being done was vital to the ongoing cleanup process in the areas most affected by La Soufriere’s eruption in April.