Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Daily Report
Report for the period 4 pm 26 June
to 4 pm 27 June 1997
The current alert level is ORANGE

The volcano remains active, with further pulses of activity during today. The cycles of inflation and deflation have continued, and are thought to be caused by pulses of magma entering the dome. The most significant activity occurred this morning, when one of the pulses of activity ended with two small steam explosions, at 9:33 am and 10:07 am. The second event was larger, and formed an ash cloud which rose to at least 20,000 ft. The western side of the volcano, including Lover's Lane, Dagenham, Richmond Hill and Foxes Bay were showered by small rock fragments up to 8 mm in length. The second explosion was accompanied by a small pyroclastic flow in Mosquito Ghaut.

The seismic activity continues in the same pattern, with 80 hybrid earthquakes and 40 rockfall signals.

The risk to the Corkhill area is judged to have increased, and evacuation of Corkhill, Weekes, St George's Hill, Delvin's, Foxes Bay and Richmond Hill was recommended this afternoon. This is because of the dangers of pyroclastic flows extending further down the Belham River past Corkhill. There is also the possibility of explosive activity, without further warning.

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

The entire central corridor, the eastern side of the volcano, the Corkhill area and the upper Belham River valley are at risk from pyroclastic flow activity. People should not enter any of these areas until the situation stabilises. Mosquito Ghaut is still the most likely pathway for pyroclastic flows, but activity in Gages, Tuitt's and the Tar River valley is also possible. Access to Plymouth has been completely restricted, and the airport will remain closed for the foreseeable future.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory