Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Morning Report
Report for the period 4 pm 24 September
to 7 am 25 September 1997

Since 4.00 yesterday afternoon there have been two further explosions. In both cases the following pyroclastic flows have mostly travelled down Gages Valley.

The first explosion occurred at 5:16 pm and the resulting ash blew mainly over Plymouth and out to sea. This event was not preceded by any hybrid earthquakes or any other seismicity. Tremor, probably associated with vigorous ash venting, went on for two hours after the explosion. The second explosion happened at 03:55 this morning after a hybrid swarm which started at about 11 last night. This time the ash came further to the North and fell in occupied areas. The tremor after this second explosion went on for about an hour.

Further explosions are very likely and these could be bigger than those experienced in the last few days. Pyroclastic flows are likely to reach the Belham valley and an event directed down the Belham valley of a similar size to the one on Sunday morning, which destroyed the airport, would reach the Belham bridge and impact upon Friths and Salem. All those remaining in the exclusion zone are urged to leave as soon as possible.

When explosions happen fallout may occur anywhere on the island, so hard hats or other suitable protection should be worn. People should seek shelter in a sturdy building. Falling ash and pumice reduces visibility and makes driving conditions extremely hazardous. The wearing of ash masks is recommended outdoors. Everyone is advised to keep listening to Radio Montserrat for information on the activity.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory