Government Information Service

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

Early this morning the scientists dropped the alert level to ORANGE but the volcano is still considered extremely dangerous.

During the course of today (Saturday) there were over 90 volcano-tectonic earthquakes all located at shallow depths below the crater. In addition there were numerous rockfalls some of them forming ashclouds.

Measurements were made on two large cracks on Chances Peak, one of them is getting wider. At the same time some routine work was done on the EDM system at Chances Peak.

One long period earthquake was measured by the seismic stations today.

The dome from October 1st seems to have started growing again and many of todays rockfalls were from this area.

Scientists explained today that the two main dangers are from pyroclastic flows in the Tar River Valley and from a sudden collapse of the Galways Wall which continues to deform. This would have disasterous consequences for much of the evacuated zone.

For these reasons at ORANGE alert Zones A,B,C, and D should be relocated. Zone E east and west is considered safe and the W.H. Bramble Airport is open.

Government Information Service