Government Information Service

The Volcanic Explanation
For The 24 Hour Period Ending 7 AM On Wednesday January 15, 1997
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO.

The activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano has dropped a little over the last 24 hours, however there have been continued rockfalls and pyroclastic flows from the dome.

There is some evidence that the Galways Wall has become more active with increased deposits from landslides and an increase in the rate of crack opening on Chances Peak.

During the afternoon yesterday (Tuesday), residents felt a large regional earthquake situated some 15 miles northeast of Antigua. This measured about 5.4 on the Richter scale but was not caused by the Montserrat volcano.

During the past 24 hours there have been over 150 rockfall signals and also around 100 volcano - tectonic earthquakes which are usually caused by magma trying to reach the surface.

Visual observations from the helicopter yesterday showed that Castle Peak has further eroded particularly to the south. In addition there has been further growth of the October 1st dome (dome # 2).

During yesterday a measurement of sulphur dioxide coming from the volcano was made from the police launch at sea. The results show an average of 830 tonnes per day which is higher than the normal rate.

The alert remains at ORANGE and the sirens will be tested later today (Wednesday).

Government Information Service