Government Information Service

The Volcanic Explanation
For The 24 Hour Period Ending 7 AM On Thursday March 20, 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 over the past 24 hours has been dominated by an earthquake swarm which started at 8.30 am yesterday and lasted until midnight. This was followed by a series of rockfall signals which started at 2 am this morning and are still continuing. In addition there is continuing low amplitude tremor on the Gages Seismic Station Station, all of which goes to show that the dome continues to grow.

Helicopter observations by scientists yesterday (Weds) showed that the dome is extremely active on the southern and eastern faces and that there are continuing pyroclastic flows down the Tar River Valley and over Galways Wall. The wall itself continues to be eroded.

A survey of the dome was carried out yesterday due to the good visibility and later this week it is hoped to publish the current dome volume when all the data is in.

Over the past few days the eastern face of the dome has grown more unstable and the overall dome continues to increase in size even though it is a slower rate of growth than previously. Collapses and pyroclastic flows will occur and residents should remain vigilent.

Government Information Service