Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Morning Update
0700H 14 May, 1996

Activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano has been higher during the night than during the day time. Seismicity continues to be dominated by small- to moderate-sized rockfalls. Seismic signals recorded at 01:11, 02:45 and 05:35 on 14 May were probably associated with pyroclastic flows in the Tar River Valley area. In fact, the flow for the event of 05:35 was observed from the Observatory and Bramble Airport. None of these pyroclastic flows was as large as the largest events on Sunday 12 May. The rockfalls and pyroclastic flows were associated with ash clouds which were blown on the wind towards the west, possibly depositing ash in Plymouth and surrounding areas.

Visibility during the early morning from the Observatory and Bramble Airport was very poor with low cloud cover obscuring the volcano.

Residents of the areas affected by the recent heavy ashfalls are strongly advised to wear dust masks when outside or when cleaning up ash inside. Drivers are warned of potentially hazardous driving conditions due to ash on the roads and should drive with caution. More ashfalls from rockfalls and possibly pyroclastic flows in the Tar River Valley area should be expected. The areas affected would obviously depend mainly on the direction of the wind.

The present level of activity at the Soufriere Hills Volcano continues to cause concern to the scientists. The MVO urges that visits to the evacuated zone are kept to a minimum. Given yesterday's events in the east, it is important to again emphasize that the Tar River, Long Ground and Whites areas are extremely dangerous and should not be entered under any circumstances.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory