Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Daily Report
Report from 16:00 on 8 April
to 16:00 on 9 April 1996

The level of activity at the Soufriere Hills volcano has been lower during the past 24 hours than during the previous 24 hours. Explosion-like signals were recorded by all the stations of the seismic network at 16:27 and 23:20 on 08 April and 05:25 and 07:12 on 09 April. The 16:27 event on 08 April and the 05:25 event on 09 April generated ash which was seen drifting towards the west and falling in Plymouth and environs. Several rockfall signals were also recorded

Seismicity during the initial part of the period was dominated by hybrid earthquakes occurring at a rate of about one per minute. However, from about 01:00 to 03:00 and 14:30 to 16:00 on 09 April, very few of these hybrid events were recorded. One volcano-tectonic earthquake was located at a depth of 3 km beneath the crater. Since 12:30 on 09 April, the Gages seismic station has recorded low to moderate amplitude broadband tremor.

Although low cloud restricted observations of the crater area in the morning, visibility improved significantly in the late afternoon period and thus permitted visual assessment of the Crater region from ground locations and from the helicopter. The recent large spine, whose top half had broken off, was seen clearly, even as far as the Observatory, and does not appear to have to have grown much. The shape of the spine is that of a hollow tree with a tapered top. No major cracks were seen in the spine. Small rockfalls were observed from both sides of the material below the spine. Incandescence (glowing) of the material to the north and east of the spine was noted but there was very little steam emission from either the southeastern or northern parts of the crater. No fires were seen in the Tar River valley or the Tar River soufriere.

The scientists at the MVO remain concerned about the current level of activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano and therefore strongly urge people still living in the evacuated zone to leave immediately. Visits to the evacuated zone should be restricted to those that are 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