Government Information Service

The Volcanic Explanation
For The 24 Hour Period Ending 8 AM On Wednesday February 05, 1997
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO.

The current alert level is ORANGE

The activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano has been reduced for the last 24 hours with no large pyroclastic flows taking place. However, the recent trend of earthquake swarms and tremors repeating every 13 to 14 hours continued. This regular pattern has been going on since last Saturday.

It was posiible yesterday to get some visibility of the dome from the helicopter, scientists noted that the new extrusion on the dome has extended further down the slope and has a blocky front. They also noticed that more material has fallen from the face to the base of the dome.

The top of Galways Wall has altered significantly in recent days with a deep slot having been cut through the top of the wall along the line of weakness. Material from the pre - September dome has now fallen through this slot and forms a grey deposit lying on top of previous rockfalls.

Yesterday (Tuesday) a GPS survey was undertaken at the Tar River, Windy Hill, Whites and Farrells stations, the results will be published later. This morning (Weds) there is very poor visibility because of early morning rain, however scientists are saying that the eastern face of the dome is very unstable and is likely to collapse at any time.

Public Works Dept are attempting to clear Fort Ghaut after the damage caused by floods over the weekend. Volcanic debris has been filling the Ghaut and heavy rain over the weekend caused water to overshoot the banks of the Ghaut damaging walls, roads, houses and washing away one altogether. The Public market in relocated Plymouth was damaged by mud and water and water mains pipes under the Fort Ghaut Bridge have been washed away.

The alert remains at ORANGE and the emergency sirens will undergo their weekly test this afternoon. A new volcanic alert map is published today and will be distributed to the public this afternoon. E mail subscribers can request a copy which will be posted to you if you send your mailing address and a request to:

Government Information Service