Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Morning Report
Report for the period 16:00 9 January
to 07:00 10 January 1997
The current alert level is ORANGE

The growth and collapse of the October 1 dome has continued overnight, at a slightly lower rate than yesterday. The rockfall activity continues to occur in pulses, spaced about 8 hours apart. The latest spurt in activity was at around 5 am this morning. No observations of the pyroclastic flow activity have been possible overnight, but it is likely that the area of the dome above Castle Peak remains active, generating pyroclastic flows into the south side of the Tar River Valley.

About 70 rockfall and pyroclastic flow signals have been recorded by the seismic network, which is a reduction in numbers since yesterday. A few small volcano-tectonic earthquakes have also been recorded.

The summit of the volcano has been cloudy overnight, and so no good views of the crater area have been possible.

A major collapse of the October 1 dome could start at any time. Such a collapse would produce pyroclastic flows in the Tar River valley and heavy ash to the west of the volcano. Should the collapse be very large, then an explosive eruption is possible, in the same way that it followed a major dome collapse on September 17/18. At the moment the scientists are confident that zone E, which includes Corkhill and the airport, remains safe. The situation could change rapidly, and Montserrat residents should listen to Radio Montserrat for further updates.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory