Government Information Service

The Volcanic Explanation
For The 24 Hour Period Ending 7 AM On Thursday January 02, 1997
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO.

Please note: this explanation will in future be published each morning instead of each evening and will be put on line at the start of each working day - Thank you!

The activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano over the past 24 hours has been dominated by rockfalls from the October 1st dome (dome # 2) as it continues to grow. This activity could escalate at any time without notice.

This escalation could take the form of large pyroclastic flows in the Tar River Valley area or there could be a sudden collapse of the Galways wall. Eitherof these could uncover fresh lava in the dome leading to a possible lateral blast or vertical explosion.

This would impact on much of the evacuated area and this is why Zones A and B are "no go" areas and Zones C and D for daytime restricted access fpr people with a rapid means of exit.

The rockfalls over the last day generated ashclouds which drifted west with the wind, the largest of these clouds reached a height of 4,500 feet. In addition there has been fairly constant seismic activity with over 60 events recorded in the last 24 hours.

This morning (Jan 2nd) the dome is under cloud and visibility is poor.

Government Information Service