Government Information Service

The Volcanic Explanation
For The 24 Hour Period Ending 7 AM On Friday January 17, 1997
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO.

The activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano for the last 24 hours has once again been dominated by pyroclastic flows and rockfalls. There were flows early yestrady morning (Thursday) and again in mid afternoon. Large amounts of material from these flows reached the sea below the Tar River Valley.

The southeastern part of the dome remains very unstable and more such activity is thought very possible.

Ash from yesterdays events reached as high as 30,000 feet (as reported by an American Airlines pilot) and also went out to sea as reported by a cruise ship captain heading for Antigua.

It is reported that yesterdays pyroclastic flows contained 6 foot boulders which reached the sea, this makes the area very dangerous and everyone should keep clear of the Tar River Valley area.

There was some other seismic activity recorded during this period with some volcano - tectonic earthquakes and a few hybrid and long period events being picked up on the seismographs.

COSPEC measurements were taken yesterday to see the amount of gas in the atmosphere these results are still being processed.

This morning (Friday) visibility is poor but there is some steam venting taking place and there is also evidence of overnight ash falls on St Georges Hill. The helicopter will make surveys shortly.

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

Government Information Service