Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Daily Report
Report for the period 4 pm 9 October
to 4 pm 10 October 1997

There has been one explosion during the last 24 hours, it occurred at 4:13 this morning and was the 45th in the current sequence. Again, there was no warning prior to the explosion.

The ash column from this event rapidly reached at least 20,000ft and was blown to the north-east. Pyroclastic flows generated during this explosion travelled down Tuitt's Ghaut, Farrell's plain and Gages Valley. Observers located at Jack Boy Hill reported that pyroclastic flows travelling down the north eastern flank of the volcano nearly reached the sea. As usual the explosion was followed by a period of tremor, which lasted for approximately 1.5 hours and was associated with ash and steam venting. Light fallout from this event was experienced in the north of the island several hours after the event.

The level of seismic activity has remained relatively low and has been dominated by small rockfall events, most of which didn't trigger the system. A total of 9 volcano-tectonic earthquakes, 4 hybrid earthquakes and 1 long period earthquake were recorded today along with 5 significant rockfalls. There were a small number of volcano-tectonic earthquakes recorded about three to four hours after the explosion but they did not quite constitute a swarm.

More explosions are expected, these may be larger than those already experienced and may send pyroclastic flows and surges further down Tyer's Ghaut and into the Belham River. Explosive eruptions may occur with no warning, therefore all residents still remaining in Friths, Old Towne and Salem are urged to move out as soon as possible.

After explosions, fallout can occur anywhere on the island and hard hats or other suitable protection should be worn outside, if possible stay indoors until the fallout is over. Driving during ash or pumice fall is dangerous and should be avoided if possible. When driving on ashy roads drive slowly, particularly near pedestrians and allow plenty of time for your journey. 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