Government Information Service

The Volcanic Explanation
For The 24 Hour Period Ending 7 AM On Wednesday January 22, 1997
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO.

Following the heavy pyroclastic flows of Monday night, the activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano has quietened down over the last 24 hours.

Seismic activity has been dominated by about 40 volcano - tectonic earthquakes which continue this morning. These are usually indicative of magma trying to reach the surface from shallow depths below the crater of the volcano. There were also some hybrid and long term events recorded. In the same period there wer about two dozen rockfall signals recoeded.

Throughout yesterday (Tuesday) the dome was very clear and several helicopter surveys were carried out. Scientists saw a scar to the south west of Castle Peak caused by the large pyroclastic flow of Monday night. It was also confirmed that these flows reached the sea below the Tar River Valley.

The south eastern sector of the dome is very unstable and very active and is likely to collapse over the next few days. This morning (Wednesday) the dome is covered in cloud and not much visibility is possible.

The alert level remains at ORANGE and the W.H. Bramble Airport is open. The alerm system will be tested this afternoon between 3 pm and 6 pm.

Scientists are urging everyone to keep well clear of the Long Ground / Tar River Valley area as these areas are extremely dangerous. These have been relocated for many months but there have been reports of people trying to site see in these areas.

Government Information Service