Government Information Service

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

The current alert level is ORANGE

The activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano was at a higher level over the last 24 hours.

There were several hybrid earthquake swarms as well as a few long period and volcano-tectonic events. In addition there were numerous rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows. These events produced an almost continuous ash cloud which was blown by prevailing winds over the north west of the island.

The area of activity on the dome seems to be the north - northwest section although for most of yesterday (Friday) there was low cloud cover and no views of the dome possible.

Scientists did however, land by helicopter on Chances Peak to install an extensometer which will assist in the measuring of cracks on the mountain and send the information automatically to the MVO. A GPS survey was also carried out on the site whilst there, results will be published later today.

This morning (Saturday) wind direction is from the east - southeast so if there are pyroclastic flows today, ash will fall in the safe zones.

Motorists going to the airport are being advised that they should travel the northern route as the route through the central corridor is restricted. The alert level remains at ORANGE and all residents are asked to remain vigilant.

Government Information Service