Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Daily Report
Report for the period 6 pm 28 December
to 6 pm 29 December 1997

Activity at the volcano has been low today with the number of earthquakes continuing to decline. Between 16:00 yesterday and 16:00 today, a total of 35 hybrid earthquakes, 12 long period earthquakes and 27 rockfall signals were recorded by the broadband system. The hybrid earthquakes continued to show evidence of 6 hourly swarms but each swarm was very small. The dome is continuing to grow.

The area impacted by the Boxing Day eruption were inspected by boat and helicopter. There were good views of the source region of the large landslide, but the top of the dome could not be seen. The White River is filled with a hummocky landslide deposit (a debris avalanche) that extends out to sea. There is now a large bowl-shaped depression (a landslide scar) in the Galways Wall and Galways Soufriere area and a steep wall of older volcanic rock is now exposed next to the dome. The southern margins of the dome and its talus slope have disappeared. The depression has a flat floor and new fumaroles have appeared. The debris avalanche deposit is covered by thin mobile pyroclastic flow and surge deposits. The pyroclastic surges have affected an area extending from just south of Kinsale to 1 km south of the mouth of the White River. Many buildings in the villages of Fairfields, Trials and Gingoes have been severely damaged. Damage to Reids estate, St Patricks and Morris's is severe and there are almost no buildings left standing. The surges deposits appear fine-grained and the Gingoes and German Ghauts are filled with thin fine-grained pyroclastic flows. The changes to the upper parts of the dome are still not clear due to cloud cover and vigorous steam venting.

Air quality at all monitoring stations across the island is good today.

People should remain alert and listen to Radio Montserrat for further information.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory