Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Morning Report
Report for the period 4 pm 02 August
to 7 am 03 August 1997

Activity at the volcano overnight has remained at an elevated level with a hybrid swarm and continued pyroclastic flow and rockfall activity.

Last night, a hybrid earthquake swarm began at about 9:30 pm and continued until 3:20 am. This swarm had about the same number of events as the intense swarm yesterday morning, but did not progress into the repetitive hybrids with high background tremor that were seen yesterday. However, the swarm did culminate in a phase of high amplitude pyroclastic flow activity at 3:20 am which lasted for about 10 minutes. After this time, occasional rockfall and pyroclastic flow signals have been recorded by the seismic network.

The activity is still following a cyclical pattern in the tiltmeter with regular inflation and deflation of the volcano corresponding to the earthquake swarms and continuous pyroclastic flows respectively. However, pyroclastic flows have also occurred outside the most probable time period, and so at no time is it safe to enter the exclusion zone, including the Belham river valley.

There is ash in the air in the west of Montserrat and therefore dust masks should always be worn in these areas. Drivers should also be considerate whilst driving in ashy conditions. The Belham River valley is very dangerous and should not be entered. Access to the exclusion zone is completely restricted, and people should stay completely away from all the flanks of the volcano. Everyone should continue to stay alert, and listen to Radio Montserrat for any announcements.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory