Activity at the volcano has continued at a high level over night. Rockfall and pyroclastic flow signals have dominated the seismic records. A pulse of activity which started just after 11:00 pm last night is interpreted as the result of pyroclastic flow generation into the White River from the new scar developed yesterday above the Galway's Wall. This period of heightened activity lasted until about 1:30 am this morning. A number of earthquakes has also been recorded overnight. Vehicles at the Observatory have a light dusting of ash on them from activity overnight. The Police checkpoint at the Delta gas station also report light ashfall.
Cloud is currently obscuring the crater area, but fine ash can be seen drifting out to the west which is probably a result of the larger rockfalls. The high level of ash in the atmosphere and on the ground make it imperative that people wear ash masks.
The heightened activity is a result of dome growth of the southern part of the dome adjacent to the Galway's Wall and shows that pyroclastic flows from the dome can occur at any time. The alert level has been raised to ORANGE as a temporary measure to allow MVO to thoroughly assess the situation. There should be no visits to zones A and B and only limited, short visits to zone C. Daytime occupation only is permitted in zone D. People should listen for further updates of the situation from the MVO. For the time being people are advised to remain vigilant while the new activity is being assessed and to always wear an ash mask in the dusty conditions. The Tar River Valley and White River area all the way to the sea are very dangerous and should not be entered at any time.