Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Daily Report
Report for the period 4 pm 30 September
to 4 pm 01 October 1997

There have been three more explosions over the last 24 hours, each followed by energetic pyroclastic flows. The ash clouds generated were in two cases blown NW over occupied areas.

The explosions occurred at 5:54 yesterday afternoon, 5 o'clock this morning and 11:34 this morning. The two explosions which occurred in daylight were both observed to send pyroclastic flows almost to the sea in the Tar River Valley and to Trant's down Tuitt's Ghaut. In both cases there were also flows down Gages Valley and small amounts of material sent into Tyer's Ghaut. The ash cloud yesterday evening reached a height of 20,000 to 25,000 feet and blew out to sea over Garibaldi Hill. The ash clouds generated by the explosions at 5 o'clock and 11:34 this morning both blew to the NW and ash and gravel sized fallout were reported as far North as Woodlands each time. These ash clouds were darker and less diffuse than was observed yesterday. Ash venting was observed after all of the explosions and in the case of the explosion at 11:34 this morning this venting produced a separate ash fall in the Salem area.

Apart from the explosions the last 24 hours have been relatively quiet seismically. 8 hybrids, 6 long period earthquakes, 9 volcano-tectonic earthquakes and 7 rockfall signals were recorded.

The chances of more explosions are very high and these could be larger than anything seen so far. The resulting pyroclastic flows could very easily reach the Belham valley and surges could travel up the valley sides for a considerable distance. All those remaining in the exclusion zone are urged to leave this evening. If the sirens sound in this area at any time, people should move north immediately.

After an explosion fallout can occur anywhere on the island. People should shelter in a strong building and wait for the fallout to end. If you do have to move about then head protection should be worn. Falling ash and pumice reduces visibility and makes driving conditions extremely hazardous. Roads remain difficult and 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