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The Volcanic Explanation
For The 24 Hour Period Ending 7 AM On Saturday March 01, 1997
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO.

The current alert level is AMBER

The activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano increased over the last 24 hours. There have been two swarms of earthquakes in the reporting period, one yesterday morning and one ongoing which started just before 3 am this morning (Saturday). These comprise both volcanic - tectonic and hybrid earthquakes in addition some tremor was recorded.

This led to rockfalls and several hot rockfalls were to be observed from the dome at the same time as the tremor. In addition there is vigorous steaming from the dome.

Both yesterday and early this morning the dome was clear and scientists confirmed that it it is both steep and unstable. The dome itself is now the largest it has ever been and is estimated to have a volume of around 42 million tonnes. The highest part of the dome is a little less than the top of Chances Peak but it is still growing.

The alert level remains at AMBER but scientists warn that activity could step up as the eastern face of the dome is steep and pyroclastic flows are expected from it leading into the Tar River Valley.

Residents are asked to remain vigilent and to wear their ash masks if entering the Plymouth area as ash levels in the evacuated capital are described as hazardous.

Government Information Service