Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Morning Report
Report for the period 4 pm 25 June
to 7 am 26 June 1997
The current alert level is ORANGE

The level of activity remained low last night until about 4am this morning when another hybrid earthquake swarm began. Although less intense than previous swarms, several earthquakes in the swarm have been particularly large events and there have also been short periods of tremor.

The tiltmeters on Chances Peak showed a period of rapid inflation this morning which peaked at about 5.30am and is now showing an equally rapid deflation. Deflation is commonly accompanied by a pulse of pyroclastic flow and rockfall activity, this may occur within the next few hours.

There have been no observations of the volcano today due to low cloud.

The pyroclastic flow and surge deposits will remain extremely hot for several days . Residents must not approach, handle or attempt to walk on the deposits because of the risk of severe burning.

As a result of the moderate ashfall there is likely to be heavy resuspension of ash in the air today especially if it does not rain. Residents and workers are urged to wear a dust mask.

Further pyroclastic flow activity is expected, and the high level of activity means that these flows could happen at any time and may be of significant size. The current area of activity makes Mosquito Ghaut the most likely pathway, but further flows in Gages, Tuitt's or Tar River are probable as well. Access to Plymouth has been completely restricted as a temporary measure this morning. Zones A and B are extremely dangerous and nobody should go into these areas at all.

The airport is closed today and will remain closed until further notice.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory