Government Information Service

The Volcanic Explanation
For The 24 Hour Period Ending 7 AM On Wednesday May 28, 1997
A Presentation Of The Government Information Services
In Conjunction With The MVO.

The current alert level is ORANGE

Over the last 24 hours there has been a switch of activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano, with dome growth now to the east and southeast.

The level of seismic activity over the last 24 hours could be described as moderate with a single swarm of hybrid earthquakes which went on for most of yesterday (Tuesday).In addition there were 3 volcano-tectonic and two long period events.

The number of rockfalls over the reporting period was low, however there were several pyroclastic flows, the largest of which occurred at 3.20 pm yesterday. This flow was extremely fast, from its start to reaching the delta at the base of Tar River Valley taking less than one minute.

The flow produced a large ash plume which reached heights of about 9000 feet above sea level and winds from the south east blew the ash over large areas of the safe zone.

Some dome measurements were taken yesterday from Perches Mountain, Windy Hill, Harris' and Whites to try and get the current dome volume, results will be announced later.

Yesterday there was mudflow in the Paradise River which originated in Mosquito Ghaut and Tuitt's Ghaut. This was caused by the heavy ash layers mixing with rain and reached depths of about 20 inches. Fort Ghaut also had some mudflows.

COSPEC measurements were made yesterday to measure tha amount of gas in the atmosphere. The results showed 950 tonnes per day, the same as last week.

The volcano is becoming more active with dome growth increased and the area having changed. The alert level is ORANGE and everyone should remain vigilant. No one should enter Zones A and B at all and anyone going into Zone C should have a rapid means of exit and only visit during daylight hours.

Government Information Service