Government Information Service

The Volcanic Explanation
For The 24 Hour Period Ending 7 AM On Tuesday May 13, 1997
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO.

The current alert level is AMBER

Over the last 24 hours the activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano has shown little change with over 100 rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows being recorded. In addition there has been in the region of 30 long period earthquakes recorded.

Scientists at the MVO are pointing out that the level of long period earthquake activity is now higher than ever before and this is thought to be being caused by gas movements within the volcano close to the surface.

During the last 24 hours there has been a high level of steam and gas emmission. However, the dome has been under low cloud for the reporting period so no clear observations were obtained.

Yesterday (Monday) visits were made to the crater rim at Farrell's and Chances Peak to plan the installation of new monitoring equipment which includes new tiltmeters, seismometer and EDM reflectors.

Some EDM measurements were possible yesterday at Amersham and Chances Steps but results show that there is no significant changes to the last measurements taken.

The alert level remains at AMBER and everyone is urged to stay clear of the Tar River Valley and the White River Valley as these areas could experience very dangerous pyroclastic flows. Ash masks should continue to be worn in ashy areas.

Late addition:

As this is being typed there is a large pyroclastic flow occurring leading to very large ash clouds being blown towards Plymouth and Foxes Bay. Scientists are on radio reporting that in the region of 500,000 cubic metres of material seems to have been released in the flow which is contained in the Tar River Valley. Ash levels are high in Plymouth, Richmond Hill, and Foxes Bay. Driving is hazardous and anyone in these areas must wear their ash masks.

Government Information Service