The level of activity at the volcano has remained low during the last 24 hours. The new dome which has been growing since the 22 October has, however, enlarged considerably and is rapidly filling the explosion crater.
Although it has been cloudy for most of the day, brief glimpses of the new dome inside the explosion crater were obtained. The new dome which is dark grey in colour and blocky was estimated to be a height of approximately 50 m above the tephra rampart on the open NE crater edge. The new growth has significantly overspilled the crater towards Tuitt's Ghaut, such that it has the appearance of a lobe. No sign of rockfall material from the new dome was identified in the upper part of Tuitt's Ghaut. The rapid growth of the dome indicates that the rate at which new magma is reaching the surface is well above average levels, although accurate volume calculations cannot be made until the weather improves. The new dome is unstable and it is likely that pyroclastic flows may be formed in the next few days.
There were 32 hybrid earthquakes, 10 long period earthquakes and 11 rockfall signals between 4 pm yesterday and 4 pm today. These earthquakes are probably related to dome growth. This is however a reduced count of the earthquakes as there was a break in data between 07:52 and 10:10 today, due to a change over by Cable and Wireless.
Although there have been no explosions for the last 4 days there is still a chance that explosions could happen at any time . It is not safe to live in Friths, Old Towne or Salem.
The ash sampling program continues and the results today indicate that the levels are low. However, there is still a significant amount of ash around on roads, which is easily lifted into the air by traffic. Cleaning also lifts a lot of dust so people are urged to wear their masks if they are engaged in these activities.
All residents of Montserrat are reminded to be vigilant, to avoid entering the evacuated zone and to stay tuned to Radio Montserrat for further information.