Montserrat Volcano Observatory

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

The volcano was again 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 43 hybrid earthquakes, 12 long period earthquakes, 4 volcano-tectonic earthquakes and 118 distinct rockfall signals.

There were at least four periods of continuous rockfall signals, between 4 this morning and the end of the reporting period; about 5am, 11:00 and at about 3:00 this afternoon. There is no evidence that these periods of heightened activity produced ashfall in occupied areas. Ash fell intermittently throughout the night and early morning resulting in light ashfall in occupied areas to the north and north west of the volcano due to the unfavourable wind direction.

Visual observations of the dome, made from the police boat off the south west coast, indicate that the area of activity on the dome is still located above the White River. Two spines were observed on the southern parts of the active face with ash and steam venting from the northern parts near to Chances Peak. New pyroclastic flow deposits were observed in the upper parts of the White River. Surge deposits, possibly associated with these flows, have extended to more than half-way up the flank of the South Soufriere Hills. These new deposits are believed to have occurred during the periods of heightened activity over the past two days. The talus slope which has built up beneath the dome has also increased in size.

Dust levels at St John's and St Peter's were low today. Levels at both of the Woodlands stations were at raised levels. These dust levels are due to the heavy ashfalls experienced during the past two days as well as the remobilization of the fine particles mainly by wind and vehicular traffic. At these dust levels it is recommended that ash masks be worn outside or in ashy conditions, especially when attempting to clean.

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

Montserrat Volcano Observatory