Activity at the Soufriere Hills volcano was at a low level overnight, with seismic activity comprising only signals generated by rockfalls and pyroclastic flows. The rate of occurrence of these signals and their magnitude were both relatively low compared to the situation over the past few days.
The summit of the volcano is cloudy this morning. Views last night indicated that incandescence on the dome was limited mainly to the most active area immediately behind Castle Peak. The glowing noted earlier in the week over most of the dome has subsided indicating a reduction in surface extrusive activity; however, there are some indications that magma is instead feeding into the interior of the dome so that it is still growing.
Despite the reduction in surface activity, the October 1 dome remains in an unstable configuration, and so a major collapse could still start at any time. Such a collapse, which would probably be initiated over a period of several hours, would produce pyroclastic flows in the Tar River valley and heavy ash fall 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 Tar River area is extremely dangerous, and should not be entered in any circumstances.