Government Information Service

The Volcanic Explanation
For The 24 Hour Period Ending 6 PM On Thursday December 19, 1996
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO.

Late this afternoon a series of pyroclastic flows have been travelling down the Tar River Valley towards the sea. These came about from rockfalls off the new dome (dome # 3) which started early this morning. These flows are extremely large and put the Long Ground area at high levels of risk once again.

Other seismic activity was low today (Thursday) with no volcano-tectonic earthquakes being recorded. However there was one period of continuous low amplitude signal for about 15 minutes this morning probably caused by a small pyroclastic flow.

Visibility today was excellent and allowed helicopter inspections of the domes and the Galways Wall. The wall continues to deform but at a much slower pace. Scientists think that Tar River and Long Ground are at serious risk because they feel that the pyroclastic flows in this area will continue. They also feel that Galways Wall could fail at any time as it appears very unstable.

A dome survey was carried out today on the new dome (dome # 3) and preliminary results show that this dome has a volume of about 800,000 cubic metres and this in just 8 days.

For Montserrat subscribers Local Access Channel 5 will show a video on Galways Wall at 5 pm on Friday Dec. 20th.

Dr Young has returned to the island and resumes as head scientist on Saturday.

The alert stage remains at ORANGE which means there should be no one living in Zones A,B,C, and D.

Government Information Service