Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Daily Report
Report from 16:00 on 6 April
to 16:00 on 7 April 1996

The level of activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano as manifested by actual eruptions has decreased throughout the twenty-four hours under review compared to the previous twenty-four hours. In particular, the last twelve hours of the current review period have been relatively quiet. Several small to moderate eruptions which produced ash columns and possibly small pyroclastic flows in the Tar river valley occurred at 16:17, 16:45 and 17:32 on 06 April 1996. Signals interpreted as possible eruptions or explosions were also recorded at 19:25, 21:27 and 23:15 on 06 April 1996 and 00:51, 01:31, 02:20, 03:35, 06:59 and 15:52 on 07 April 1996. The 06:59 event on 07 April 1996 was a moderately-sized explosion which was heard at the Bramble Airport control tower and caused a small ash column. The ash drifted over the Plymouth, St. George's Hill, Richmond Hill, Fox's Bay and Cork Hill areas in a pattern similar to that of the earlier events.

Small hybrid earthquakes continue to be recorded at the stations closest to the volcano at a rate of about one per minute. These events are interpreted as being indicative of continuous dome growth. Several rockfall signals were also recorded during the period. Two volcano-tectonic earthquakes occurred and were located in the Tar River area at a depth of 6 km and beneath the Soufriere Hills Volcano at a depth of 2 km.

Low cloud cover restricted visibility throughout most of the day but reports from several observers confirm that the recent large spine is still intact and is now the highest feature in Montserrat, i.e., it is taller than Chance's Peak (3002 ft). However, like most of its predecessors, we expect this spine to collapse within the next one to two days.

The present elevated level of volcanic activity continues to cause concern to the scientists and people are still urged to keep out of the evacuated zone unless their presence there is absolutely essential. The Tar River, Long Ground and Whites areas are now extremely dangerous, and should not be entered under any circumstances.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory