Government Information Service

The Volcanic Explanation
For The 48 Hour Period Ending 7 AM On Monday April 14, 1997
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO.

The current alert level is ORANGE

Activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano has continued at a lower level during the past 48 hours.

On Saturday afternoon there were some rockfalls possibly triggered by gas release. The Gages station recorded vigorous degassing with plumes 500 to 1,000 feet which moved westward. This plum was detected by weather satellites more than 75 km downwind. Water and ash samples were taken, most of the ash was carried out to sea by the wind. No GPS or EDM measurements were taken on Saturday. No COSPEC measurements will be taken for 10 days, the instrument is off island to be calibrated & tested.

Sunday found further rockfalls over Galways Wall through the enlarged canyon in the wall. There was one long-period earthquake , one volcano-tectonic earthquake and 25 rockfalls. Two regional tectonic events located to the north of Montserrat. The Gages station recorded some low amplitude tremor, there were also some tremors recorded at Windy Hill and St. Patricks.

The broadband seismic network has been used for the earthquake count during this period. This network is more sensitive and records more earthquakes.

Low cloud cover limited visual observations, but the ashclouds produced by the rockfalls were blown south of Plymouth.

The mudflow hazards in Ft. Ghaut are being evaluated in preparation for the hurricane season.

The volcano remains active and dangerous, with a very large dome which could collapse at any time. People should exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant at all times. Ash levels are high and everyone is urged to wear their dust masks in ashy areas.

Government Information Service