Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Morning Report
Report for the period 16:00 17 February
to 07:00 18 February 1997
The alert level was reduced to AMBER last night

The volcano has been quiet overnight. There was an episode of volcanic tremor between 5:50 pm and 7:40 pm, which followed a small swarm of volcano-tectonic earthquakes. During the tremor, there was a moderate pyroclastic flow that travelled to about the Tar River Estate House, and resulted in an ash cloud to the south-west.

A helicopter inspection of the dome was made just after the pyroclastic flow. The active area of the dome, in the south-east, was glowing strongly, and continuous rockfall activity was observed.

Overnight, there have been a few rockfalls. Another volcano-tectonic earthquake swarm has started, and it may be followed by tremor and pyroclastic flows in a few hours.

The current activity has reached a plateau, which gives the scientists confidence that there will be no life-threatening activity in the near future. Therefore the alert level has been reduced to amber. However, the volcano is still potentially dangerous, and the activity could escalate at any time. The eastern face of the dome is steep, and further pyroclastic flows are likely. People entering zone C must remain alert, listen to Radio Montserrat and be ready to leave at short notice. Only essential visits should be made. The ash levels in Plymouth are hazardous, and it is very important to wear an ash mask when there is ash in the air.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory