Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Daily Report
Report from 16:00 on 5 April
to 16:00 on 6 April 1996

The Soufriere Hills volcano has been highly active during this period. A series of explosive eruptions have occurred, including the largest seen so far, which started at 14:45 on 6 April.

A series of eruption signals were recorded by the seismic network starting at 08:39 this morning. These eruptions generated ash plumes with a maximum height of about 10,000 ft and also caused at least six separate small pyroclastic flows which carried material from the eastern dome into the Tar River Soufriere area.

From 13:37 today the activity built up again, with continuous ash emission and several ash plumes. A significant explosive eruption started at 14:45 and continued for about an hour. It consisted of two main pulses, which sent ash to about 30,000 - 40,000 ft above sea level and generated a large pyroclastic flow. This flow, however, did not travel as far as the one at 15:18 on 03 April. The ash cloud drifted to the northwest.

As well as these major eruption signals, many hybrid earthquakes and rockfall signals were recorded by the seismic network. The number of long-period and volcano-tectonic earthquakes remains low.

Visual observations were made from Whites, the airport and the helicopter during the day. The large spine which has grown over the last few days is still intact. This morning, it's height was measured as 2975 ft, only 25 ft short of Chances Peak. The spine has grown by about 200 feet since yesterday, and is now visible from many points around the island.

The scientists at the MVO remain gravely concerned about the current level of activity, because it may be leading towards a climactic eruption of the Soufriere Hills Volcano which would affect most of the areas of the evacuated zone. The scientists therefore urge people still in the evacuated zone to leave immediately. The Tar River, Long Ground and Whites areas are now extremely dangerous, and should not be entered under any circumstances.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory