Government Information Service

The Volcanic Explanation
For The 24 Hour Period Ending 7 AM On Monday January 13, 1997
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO.

Once again the level of activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano has been at a lower level with fewer rockfalls. It has been noticed that there have been some minor changes in the shape of the dome which probably means that instead of lava pushing up to the surface it is pushing up inside the dome.

The dome remains unstable so that pyroclastic flows are expected in the course of the next few days.

Visible observations from Whites Yard yesterday (Sunday) showed that the face of the dome above Castle Peak is very active and rockfalls are expected in this area. Scientists believe that the rate of growth of the dome has slowed over the past few days.

Yesterday some samples were taken at the delta below Tar River and deposits there are very hot (about 400 degrees Centigrade). It is thought that pyroclastic flows reached this area last Wednesday.

Scientists visited Chances Peak yesterday and the cracks close to Galways Wall continue to open. The crack closest to the wall has opened almost 3 centimetres in the last 12 days.

Seismic activity over the past 24 hours has been much lower but early this morning picked up again with the activity peaking at 1 am and 5 am today.

This morning visibility is poor so no views of the dome are possible as this is being written.

The alert level remains at ORANGE and the W.H. Bramble Airport remains open.

Government Information Service