Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Morning Update
0700H 5 December, 1995

Earthquake activity (seismicity) has been at a relatively high level overnight, with a peak between 10:00 pm and midnight (local time). This seismicity is recorded as continuous ground tremor intermixed with discreet long-period earthquakes on the Gages and Long Ground seismographs and as continuous low-amplitude tremor at Bethel. It is thought that this higher level of seismicity is caused by the magma being pushed to the surface within the lava domes at a slightly higher rate.

Evening observations of the lava domes showed several patches of glowing material over a wide area on the west side of the old Castle Peak Dome; it is thought that the two seperate domes observed over the weekend may be joining into a single structure. The glowing is caused by hot magma (molten rock) at/or very close to the surface within the domes.

The higher level of seismicity may mean that the new dome is now growing faster and therefore there is now a stronger possibility that sections of it will start collapsing towards the east. The Tar River area beyond White's Yard is thus thought to be extremely dangerous at present, and scientists very strongly advise members of the public not to enter this area at the present time.

All areas that were not recommended to be evacuated during this second phase of increased volcanic activity remain safe at the present time and will continue to be so unless there is a drastic change in the nature of the activity. Scientists continue to monitor the situation closely.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory