Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Daily Report
Report for the period 16:00 13 February
to 16:00 14 February 1997
The current alert level is ORANGE

Activity at the volcano has continued at a low level. A swarm of earthquakes were recorded overnight and some good views were obtained of the dome during the afternoon. Rockfall activity was concentrated on the active southern face of the dome.

Sixty-nine volcano-tectonic earthquakes were recorded by the seismic network during the period under review. About half of these occurred during a swarm which lasted from 5:30 pm to 9:30 pm last night. Five hybrid earthquakes and two long-period events were also recorded. Rockfall activity was low to moderate with 11 signals being recorded.

Visibility improved during the early afternoon and evening allowing for some clear views to be obtained of English's Crater. Rockfall activity at the dome is still concentrated in the southern parts and several small to moderate sized rockfalls were observed by field teams at Whites and from the helicopter. These produced small ash clouds which drifted towards the western parts of the volcano. Further changes were observed in the area of the Galway's Wall with a new chute developed in the southern part of the wall from which material is being spilt into the upper parts of the Whites River valley. The material being spilt into the valley continue to be derived from the pre-September dome.

Despite the low level of activity, more pyroclastic flows are expected from the steep eastern face of the dome. Any collapses are likely to be gradual, and produce small or moderate pyroclastic flows. However, a larger and more prolonged collapse can not be ruled out. Residents are reminded to remain alert and responsible at all times, carry ash masks and spend the minimum possible time in the evacuated zone. Zone E, which includes Cork Hill and the airport, remains safe at this time. The Tar River Valley and the upper Galway's area are very dangerous.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory