Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Daily Report
Report for the period 6 pm 30 October
to 6 pm 31 October 1997

During the reporting period activity was again dominated by hybrid earthquake swarms. Small pyroclastic flows were generated from the new 22 October dome today and travelled about 1km from the crater down Tuitt's Ghaut.

Visibility has been poor today but observations have been made of numerous small rockfalls from the 22 October dome and also some small pyroclastic flows. Most of the rockfall activity and all the pyroclastic flows are travelling down into the upper parts of Tuitt's Ghaut. The 22 October dome appears dark and blocky and there was semi-continuous ash venting from behind a spiny extrusion on the northern side of the dome. The dome continues to grow and it is possible that it will eventually shed material onto the Farrell's plain area threatening the headwaters of the Belham River valley with pyroclastic flows.

Seismicity has been dominated again today by hybrid earthquake swarms. The first one occurred between 10:30 and 11:00 last night and another began at 6:30 this morning lasting until 11am. In the 24 hour period prior to 4pm this afternoon there were 214 hybrid earthquakes, 20 long period earthquakes and 66 rockfalls.

Friths, Old Towne and Salem are not safe with activity in its current state. Anyone remaining in these areas is strongly urged to move out of the exclusion zone. Ash levels in inhabited areas are currently low and do not present a health risk, nevertheless daily monitoring of dust levels continues. Ghauts leading away from the volcano are especially dangerous because of the possibility of hot mudflows travelling down the valleys after heavy rainfall in higher regions. Stay tuned to Radio Montserrat for further information.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory