Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Daily Report
Report for the period 16:00 08 February
to 16:00 09 February 1997
The current alert level is ORANGE

The level of volcanic activity at the Soufriere Hills volcano has remained at a fairly low level during the past 24 hours. There was two earthquake swarms, but no episodes of tremor. Observations have been restricted by low cloud.

The first earthquake swarm occurred between 5:40 pm and 8:30 pm last night, and consisted mainly of hybrid earthquakes. The second swarm was dominated by volcano-tectonic earthquakes, and occurred between 10:00 am and 3:00 pm. A total of 71 VT and 77 hybrid earthquakes were recorded, along with one long-period earthquake and 32 rockfall signals.

Apart from the earthquake swarms, the volcano has been quiet. A few rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows resulted in ash clouds over Plymouth.

A gravity survey was carried out around St George's Hill.

The eastern face of the dome is steep, and likely to undergo further collapse soon. Any collapses are likely to be gradual, and follow the recent pattern. However, a larger collapse cannot be ruled out. An explosion similar to that of September 1996 could result in the event of a major collapse which lasted for several hours. Zone E, which includes Cork Hill and the airport, remains safe. The Tar River Valley and the upper Galway's area are very dangerous.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory