Government Information Service

The Volcanic Explanation
For The 24 Hour Period Ending 7 AM On Monday January 06, 1997
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO.

The activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano has been dominated by the continued growth of the Oct 1st dome (dome # 2) causing rockfalls and pyroclastic flows in the Tar River Valley area.

Yesterday (Sunday) visibility was good for most of the day and from the helicopter it was seen that there was continuous ash production from the top and sides of the dome. However early this morning (Monday) the dome was covered by cloud.

The high levels of rockfall suggest that the lava dome within the crater is still growing rapidly and a dome collapse could occur soon producing further pyroclastic flows and ash. Material is also accumulating very slowly against the Farrell's Wall and there is now only a gap of 20 feet left before it could overtop the lowest point at Tuitt's Ghaut.

The sismic activity over the last 24 hours showed that there were over 40 rockfall signals, three long period, five hybrid and one volcano-tectonic earthquakes recorded.

EDM measurements were taken on Sunday and the information is currently being processed. Measurements were also taken to get the height of the dome and these show it is now 2900 feet and the lobe of lava at the top of the dome is about 150 feet thick.

The curret level of alert remains at ORANGE.

Government Information Service