Activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano during the past 24 hours has continued at the same, slightly lower level as during the previous 24 hours. The intense repetitive sequence of small hybrid earthquakes that has characterised the seismicity since about Tuesday 07 April has diminished in frequency. The rate of occurrence was about one every two minutes during most the night, one per minute from about 05:30 to 07:00 on 17 April and one every two minutes to the end of the period under review. The size of the events has also varied. The Gages seismic station has also picked up a few episodes of low amplitude broadband tremor up to one hour in duration.
A few rockfall signals were recorded, the largest of which was at 11:36 and generated a small ash cloud which was blown by the wind towards the northwest over Farrell's lookout. No explosion-like signals were recorded.
Observations of the volcano have been restricted by low cloud cover throughout most of the day. A few rockfalls were observed and/or heard. Both the remnant of the recent large spine and the spine to the east of it that was first reported two days ago appear to be smaller and thus may have broken up. Vigorous steam emission from several areas of the dome was observed throughout most of the day, with the steam plume, laced with pale blue sulphur dioxide, drifting towards the west into the Upper Gages area..
EDM measurements were made of the eastern triangle. The measured slant distances to Castle Peak are consistent with the small average shortening rate of 1 mm per day that has been observed since early December 1995.
In spite of the slight decrease in activity during the past two days, scientists at the MVO still remain gravely concerned about the current level of activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano and continue to urge that visits to the evacuated zone are kept to a minimum. The Tar River, Long Ground and Whites areas remain very dangerous, and people are advised not to enter these areas under any circumstances.