Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Daily Report
Report for the period 6 pm 4 February
to 6 pm 5 February 1998

The volcano was again very active today with ash falling in most areas on the island both last night and early this morning. Between 16:00 yesterday and 16:00 today there were 16 hybrid earthquakes, 21 long period earthquakes, 14 volcano-tectonic earthquakes and 158 distinct rockfall signals.

There were at least four periods of continuous rockfall and pyroclastic flow signals, between 8 and 4 last night; 1:40 and 2:20 and 8:30 and 10:30 this morning and between 1:30 and 3:30 this afternoon. Each of these periods of heightened activity were accompanied by heavy ashfall. Ash fell intermittently throughout the night and early morning resulting in heavy ashfall in occupied areas to the north and north west f the volcano due to the unfavourable wind direction. The event at 3 pm this afternoon produced a strongly convecting ash plume which drifted towards the east and caused light ashfall on Antigua.

There were periods during the day when clear views were obtained of the dome. These views indicate that the increased activity during the past two days is due to rockfalls and possibly small pyroclastic flows occurring on the dome above Galways. More rockfalls and pyroclastic flows are expected during the next few days and if the unfavourable wind conditions persist, would continue to cause heavy ashfalls in occupied areas to the north and north west of the volcano.

Dust levels at St John's were low while those at St Peter's were raised today. Levels at one of the Woodlands stations were very high while the other reached alert. These high dust levels are due to the heavy ashfalls experienced during the past two days. At these dust levels it is recommended that ash masks be worn outside or in ashy conditions.

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

Montserrat Volcano Observatory