Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Morning Report
Report for the period 4 pm 16 July
to 7 am 17 July 1997

The alert level system has been revised by zones

Volcano activity overnight has continued at a slightly higher level than yesterday. Small to moderate sized rockfalls signals have been the main type of seismic events recorded on the seismographs, but two moderate pyroclastic flows also occurred at 3.28 am and 6.20 am. The latter travelled down Mosquito Ghaut very quickly and produced an ash cloud that drifted to the west. The Chances Peak tiltmeter does not currently show any obvious cyclical behaviour but the long term trend deflationary trend has continued. There is also low level tremor occurring on the St. George's Hill seismometer. Further rockfalls and moderate pyroclastic flows can be expected later today, and may occur in any direction at any time.

The volcano is overcast early this morning, but the prospects of good views of the summit are promising.

People are reminded that mudflows can be extremely hot if recent deposits are remobilised by heavy rain. The current area of activity in the crater still makes Mosquito Ghaut and Gages the most likely pathways for pyroclastic flows and surges, but further flows in Tuitt's or Tar River are possible. The Belham River valley is also dangerous and should not be entered. Access to the exclusion zone is completely restricted, and people should stay completely away from the flanks of the volcano. Everyone should continue to stay alert, and listen to Radio Montserrat for any announcements.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory