Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Morning Report
Report for the period 16:00 19 May
to 07:00 20 May 1997
The current alert level is ORANGE

The level of volcanic activity has remained fairly elevated throughout the night, with a swarm of hybrid earthquakes. This was followed by a brief period of small pyroclastic flows from the north to north-east face of the dome.

A hybrid earthquake swarm which started at around 5:00 pm and continued until about 10:30 pm, was followed at around 11:30 pm by a period of dome collapse, with small pyroclastic flows to the north and north-east. Most of hybrid earthquakes in the swarm were small, but there were two that could have generated felt intensity. The pyroclastic flows were also small compared to those that occurred over the weekend. The level of activity declined from around 2:00 am.

The upper flanks of the volcano is obscured by thick cloud this morning. No views have been possible since daybreak.

Further pyroclastic flows are likely today. Due to the switch in the area of dome growth in the last few days, the northern side of the volcano is becoming more dangerous. People should stay away from the ghauts on the northern and north-east side of the dome, and visits to the central corridor should be restricted to those that are absolutely essential. The Tar River and Long Ground areas are extremely dangerous, and should not be entered.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory