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The Volcanic Explanation
For The 24 Hour Period Ending 6 PM On Wednesday 27 November, 1996
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO

Scientists early this morning (Wednesday) further inspected the Galways Wall from both the ground and the helicopter. These views confirmed that failure of all or part of the wall is a very real possibility. If this happens it will totally devastate St Patricks and the surrounding areas. There have been further rock avalanches since yesterday and several occurred whilst scientists were in the area. The largest avalanch to date in this area actually happened whilst the scientists were on site at 11.10 this morning and this was measured by all the stations on the seismic network. Scientists had to make a rapid withdrawal from the area and it has not been possible for them to go back since as the situation is extremely dangerous. They will however go back tomorrow in the helicopter to make another inspection.

This increased activity has put the St Patricks area from Gingoes Ghaut to south of the quarry at O'Garro's into Zone A of the volcanic risk map. This means that the St Patrick's area joins Long Ground and Tar River as "no go" areas as all are now in Zone A. None of these areas should be visited for any reason what-so-ever as they are extremely dangerous.

The swarm of volcano-tectonic earthquakes (VT's) which started two days ago continued today. There were 50 VT's in the last 24 hours all located at shallow depths below the crater. These usually mean that magma is heading for the surface and breaking rocks in the process. Throughout the day tremors have been recorded at the Gages seismic station.

A GPS survey of the network around the volcano using satelite was completed this afternoon and the results are still being processed.

The alert stage is currently at AMBER which means there should be no one living in Zones A, B, and C. Any residents living in the areas between Aymers Ghaut and Gingoes Ghaut which includes Trials should note that they are now in zone B and should consider moving immediately.

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