Government Information Service

The Volcanic Explanation
For The 24 Hour Period Ending 7 AM On Sunday May 25, 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 has remained high during the last 24 hours.

There have been two swarms of hybrid earthquakes, the last of which finished at about 5 pm yesterday (Saturday). These swarms now appear regularly with about 12 to 16 hours between each. Following each swarm there is a period of rockfall and pyroclastic flow activity.

The rockfalls and pyroclastic flows during the reporting period were all from the northern section of the dome and are now threatening all the ghauts in this area including Tuitts, Whites, and Mosquito Ghauts. Some loose material is also going over the Farrell's Wall. This pattern of activity is likely to continue as the dome is now too big for English's Crater.

The results of the GPS survey on Chances Peak, reported yesterday, shows that the peak has moved about 4 cms since it was last measured at the end of April. The large crack across Chances Peak on the Galways side continues to open and widened by 6 cms over the same period. The Chances Peak tiltmeters show that the peak moves with the volcano swelling slightly during each earthquake swarm.

Yesterday an EDM northern triangle was measured, results will be available later today. Some COSPEC measurements to check the amount of sulphur dioxide gas in the atmosphere were attempted yesterday but wind directions were unfavourable. However, an attempt was made to get samples from the central corridor road and if results are possible they will be announced later today.

The volcano remains very dangerous and the alert level remains at ORANGE. No one should visit Zones A and B as they are extremely dangerous and if anyone needs to go into Zone C they should have a rapid means of exit. Everyone is asked to remain vigilant and stay tuned to ZJB Radio.

Please note: We have been advised by our server that we might experience delays getting on line over the next few days, we apologise in advance if the volcanic explanation is late or does not appear. We will do our best to maintain the service.

Government Information Service