Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Daily Report
Report for the period 16:00 19 January
to 16:00 20 January 1997
The current alert level is ORANGE

The level of activity has been lower over the last 24 hours. The most dominant event has been small rockfalls from the dome. A total of 41 rockfall and 6 volcano-tectonic earthquakes were recorded. The volcano tectonic earthquakes were located at shallow depths beneath the crater. In addition, 3 hybrid and 1 long-period earthquakes were recorded.

Only brief views of the dome were possible today, due to low cloud cover. While in-transit to service the Roaches Yard seismic station a small pyroclastic flow was seen on the north-eastern side of the dome this afternoon.

Attempts were made to reoccupy the Brodericks dry tilt station but the exercise was aborted because of bad weather.

The south-eastern and north-eastern sectors of the dome appear to be currently active and are therefore unstable. Further pyroclastic flows are likely in the next few days. Although the dome is likely to collapse in small chunks, producing small to large pyroclastic flows, a major collapse can not be ruled out. Should this occur, another explosion similar to that of September 1996 could result. It is however expected that there would be several hours of high level pyroclastic flow activity before any explosion. Zone E, which includes Cork Hill and the airport, remains safe.

Dr Josclyn Knight from the Physics Department of the UWI today to join the MVO staff.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory