Government Information Service

The Volcanic Explanation
For The 24 Hour Period Ending 7 AM On Thursday January 23, 1997
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO.

The activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano has been very quiet for the past 24 hours with just one rockfall signal recorded. However there have been several swarms of volcano - tectonic earthquakes recorded, the latest one is still ongoing. These types of earthquakes usually signify that magma is trying to reach the surface from shallow depths below the surface of the volcano.

Observations made yesterday (Wednesday) spotted that there has been a lot of new dome growth over the course of this week. There is now a large flower shaped extrusion present, made up of blocks and is very angular. There are several cracks running through it and they seem to extend right through to the base.

The northern EDM triangle was measured yesterday, the lines between Windy Hill, St Georges Hill and Farrells showed no change since the last measurements on January 5 th.

The dome remains very unstable and further rockfalls and pyroclastic flows are expected any day this could cause further heavy ashfalls downwind of the volcano. If these collapses are large enough it could lead to an explosive situation similar to the one in mid September.

Work has commenced on cleaning Fort Ghaut in Wapping to remove the volcanic debris that has come down the Ghaut in the last few weeks.

Because of heavy rain this morning the dome is not visible.

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