Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Morning Report
Report for the period 4 pm 8 October
to 7 am 9 October 1997

There has been one more explosion overnight, this took place at 3:03 this morning. The ash column from this event rapidly reached at least 10,000ft and drifted slowly to the north west. Pyroclastic flows generated during this explosion travelled down Tuitt's Ghaut, Farrell's plain and Gages Valley. As usual the explosion was followed by a period of tremor caused by ash and steam venting.

The level of seismic activity before and after the explosion was low and dominated by small rockfall events. A few small long period earthquakes and a hybrid earthquake were also recorded.

Further explosions are expected and, although these will probably be similar in size to those experienced already, longer explosions fuelling more vigorous pyroclastic flows are a distinct possibility. There has been little seismic activity before the last few explosions and no warning is expected before further events. All residents remaining in Frith, Old Towne and Salem are thus urged to move out as soon as possible.

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 this is not possible then hard hats or other suitable protection should be worn. Avoid driving during or immediately after ashfall if at all possible. Although much of the pumice and coarse ash deposited on roads over the previous few days has been removed by rain there are still patches of ash 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