Today the 22 October dome was observed to be the same height as the sides of the crater enclosing it. Rockfalls and small pyroclastic flows were seen going down Tuitt's, Galways and over the Farrell's plane, the side of the crater wall above Galways Ghaut has become heavily degraded. There have been two hybrid swarms in the last 24 hours - both of which were longer and contained more earthquakes than any so far this month. There has been vigorous ash venting from the volcano this afternoon which had no related seismicity.
The first hybrid swarm occurred between 4 o'clock and 11 o'clock yesterday evening and the second between 3 o'clock this morning and midday. Between these swarms there were 383 hybrid earthquakes and 19 long period earthquakes. Scattered throughout the day - both during and outside of the hybrid swarms - there were 40 rockfall signals and 5 volcano tectonic earthquakes. Between 12 and 3 this afternoon vigorous ash venting was observed from the 22 October dome and an ash cloud developed blowing out to sea over Plymouth. Seismicity was at background level for most of this time with the occasional rockfall signal being the only exception.
Pyroclastic flows towards the Belham valley become more likely every day at the moment and Friths, Old Towne and Salem are not safe. Anyone remaining in these areas is strongly urged to move out of the exclusion zone. Any ghaut leading away from the volcano is 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.