Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Morning Report
Report for the period 4 pm 17 June
to 7 am 18 June 1997
The current alert level is ORANGE

After being at a low level during the late afternoon, the level of pyroclastic flow and rockfall activity increased rapidly last night and reached a peak between 11.00pm and 11.40pm. The activity was watched from the observatory and by an MVO field team who went to Bramble Airport. There were many rockfalls down the eastern slopes of the dome, rockfalls into Tuitt's Ghaut and pyroclastic flows down Mosquito Ghaut and the top of Fort Ghaut. An early morning inspection of deposits was made from the helicopter just after dawn which revealed that the largest pyroclastic flow had gone down Mosquito Ghaut into Paradise Ghaut and Paradise River, terminating just below the Guadeloupe Bends on the cross island road. The run-out distance was about 4km..The source of these flows has left a scar in the dome above Mosquito Ghaut Smaller pyroclastic flow deposits were seen in the Gage's Valley, at the top of Fort Ghaut, having gone about 200m further than the flows which occurred on Monday afternoon (16 June), that is about 2km from the crater rim. The level of activity declined sharply after midnight.

The top of the volcano is cloudy this morning, and activity on the dome is currently at a low level.

Further pyroclastic flows and surges could travel into Gages valley, Mosquito Ghaut, Tuitt's Ghaut or the Tar River valley at any time. The authorities and MVO advise that access to Plymouth is restricted for the time being. Zones A and B, which include Tuitt's, Bramble, Bethel, Spanish Point, Farms, Harris and Trants, are extremely dangerous and nobody should go into this area at all.

Bramble Airport remains operational, but the public are reminded that is open only for essential travel purposes.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory