Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Morning Report
Report for the period 4 pm 30 September
to 7 am 1 October 1997

There have been two more explosions at the volcano since 4 o'clock yesterday afternoon. These explosions occurred at 5:44 yesterday evening and at 5:00 this morning.

Pyroclastic flows from the explosion at 5:44 pm went down the Tar River Valley almost to the sea and also down Tuitt's Ghaut, Mosquito Ghaut and Tyer's Ghaut. There was burning reported in Tyer's Ghaut as a flow came towards the Belham valley. The ash plume from this event was reported by aircraft to reach 20,000 to 25,000 feet, the ash was blown Westwards and mainly went out to sea. This morning the second explosion sent pyroclastic flows down Gages Valley. The wind was slightly more from the South than last night and fallout was reported as far North as Woodlands. In both cases a couple of hours of ash and steam venting followed the explosions.

Further explosions are very likely and these could be bigger than those already experienced. Should the pyroclastic flows resulting from an explosion be channelled mainly down Tyer's Ghaut then they would reach the Belham valley. This could mean that Frith and Salem would be affected. All those remaining in the exclusion zone are urged to leave as soon as possible.

After explosions fallout may occur anywhere on the island, so hard hats or other suitable protection should be worn. Preferably, people should seek shelter in a sturdy building and wait for the fallout to end rather than trying to move or drive during the fallout period. Falling ash and pumice reduces visibility and makes driving conditions extremely hazardous. The pumice and coarse ash deposited over the previous few days has made many roads very treacherous. Plenty of time should be allowed for any journey and drivers should be very careful. The wearing of ash masks is recommended at all times. Everyone is advised to keep listening to Radio Montserrat for information on the activity.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory