Government Information Service

The Volcanic Explanation
For The 24 Hour Period Ending 6 PM On Monday 21 October, 1996
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO

Over the last 24 hours there has been an increase in the level of seismic activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano. Early this morning (Monday) there was a swarm of volcano- tectonic earthquakes located at shallow depths of about 3 kilometres below the crater. These numbered 36 in all and were probably caused by magma moving towards the surface. In addition one long period earthquake was also recorded today.

During today there were four rockfalls, the largest happening at 9:10 this morning. However there were no ash clouds produced today. The Gages seismic station recorded some intermittent broadband tremor during the afternoon.

It was possible to observe the dome today from Whites and there does not seem to be any change in how it looks.

Some COSPEC measurements were taken today to see the levels of gas in the atmosphere. The measurements were taken between Corkhill and GIngoes, however as yet no test results are available.

Some Electronic Distance Measurement better known as EDM was done today. this is carried out by bounding a beam of light off a reflector on the mountainside. Results show that there are no major changes in the St. Georges Hill/Farrells/Windy Hill triangle.

A familiar face returned to the MVO yesterday, Mr. Rod Stewart of the British Geological Survey is back for another tour of duty. He is assisting with the use of the new broadband seismic equipment that was recently installed.

The volcano remains in a highly dangerous state and further explosive activity with little or no warning is possible. For this reason no one should visit the Long Ground/Tar River Estate area.

The current alert level remains at AMBER, for a full explanation of these alert states residents should refer to the latest edition of the Montserrat reporter.

Government Information Service