Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Morning Report
Report for the period 4 pm 15 September
to 7 am 16 September 1997

Activity has again been at a moderate to high level overnight, with a period of enhanced rockfall and pyroclastic flow activity between midnight and 2:30 am this morning. There was no distinct earthquake pattern prior to this period of enhanced activity, although there were a number of hybrid and long-period earthquakes throughout the reporting period, some of which were quite large.

It is currently unknown where the pyroclastic flows generated overnight went, but it is likely that some at least extended a considerable distance down the northern flank of the volcano

Over the past couple of days there have been indications of increased activity at the volcano, and larger collapses can be expected. The timing and size of these collapses is impossible to predict, but large pyroclatic flows could travel far down the Belham Valley as far as the sea. Residents of the exclusion zone south of Nantes River are thus urged to move north, as pyroclastic flows in the Belham Valley could produce surges threatening the Friths, Old Towne, Olveston and Salem areas.

Large collapse espisodes have in the past lead to explosive activity at the volcano, and residents are reminded that ash and rocks could fall anywhere on the island during such activity. If an explosion occurs, stay indoors under a strong part of the roof. All Montserratians are advised to keep listening to Radio Montserrat for updates on the situation.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory