Government Information Service

The Volcanic Explanation
For The 24 Hour Period Ending 7 AM On Thursday January 09, 1997
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO.

The October 1st dome (dome # 2) has been very active over the last 24 hours. This has produced many rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows which have increased significantly over the last reporting period.

Yesterday afternoon (Wednesday) there were near continuous ashclouds and several pyroclastic flows heading down the Tar River Valley. This trend continued overnight up until this morning, the overnight activity being concentrated in the area behind Castle Peak. Both Castle Peak and the dome itself continue to disintegrate.

The seismic activity continues to be dominated by rockfall signals with over 130 events being recorded in the last 24 hours. In addition there were 31 hybrid, four long period and one volcano-tectonic earthquakes recorded. Most of these events were at shallow depths below the crater.

Scientists at the MVO are warning that the dome is becoming more unstable each day and that a collapse could occur at any time. This would produce major pyroclastic flows in the Tar River Valley and heavy ash to the west of the volcano. If the collapse occurs it could produce an explosive eruption similar to the one in mid September.

The alert level remains at ORANGE but all residents are being asked to remain vigilant and stay tuned to local ZJB Radio for regular updates. The W.H. Bramble Airport remains open.

Government Information Service