Government Information Service

The Volcanic Explanation
For The 24 Hour Period Ending 7 AM On Wednesday April 09, 1997
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO.

The current alert level is ORANGE

Because of the continued low level of activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano, the alert level has been lowered to AMBER.

Yesterday (Tuesday) the volcano was crystal clear all day and a few very small pyroclastic flows were clearly seen from a steep face at the back of the scar above Galways Wall. These flows produced some ash and there was also some gas venting.

Seismic activity in the last 24 hours has also been very low with just a few volcano-tectonic and one long period earthquake. There have also been a few rockfall/pyroclastic flow signals.

Some more COSPEC measurements were taken yesterday and the results of these plus the ones from Monday will be announced later today.

Some GPS measurements were taken yesterday and these show that the movement of the crater rim at Farrells away from the dome has now stopped.

The Hot Pond below the Montserrat Springs Hotel was sampled today as part of the long term monotoring of gas and water from hot springs on the island. This to see if the underground water system is being affected by the volcanic activity.

This morning (Weds) the dome is again very clear and it is clear that the northern face continues to have vigorous steam venting.

At AMBER alert Zone D residents can return to their homes for full time occupancy, however there should be only daytime visits for residents with a rapid means of exit to Zone C. Zones A and B continue to be "no go" areas as they are very dangerous.

Although there has been a few days of quiet activity, scientists at the MVO are reminding everyone that the dome is still the largest it has ever been (almost 50 million cubic metres) and is extremely dangerous and unstable. All residents are asked to remain vigilant and wear their ash masks in ashy areas.

The emergency sirens will be tested this afternoon.

Government Information Service