Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Morning Update
0700H 17 June, 1996

The level of activity at the Soufriere Hill Volcano has been moderately lower over night compared to the previous reporting period. The seismographs recorded fewer rockfall signals and long period earthquakes, and the rate of occurrence of the small repetitive hybrid events seen during the last few days continued to decline even further. The rockfall signals were under sixty seconds in duration and therefore were not likely to have associated ash flows.

Continuous low-t- moderate amplitude broadband tremor was recorded between 16:43 and 22:11 pm yesterday. The tremor was intermittent between 10:30 pm to about 04:00 this morning and has been continuous since then.

Low cloud cover and a haze of ash from recent flows continued to blanket the summit area and upper flanks of the volcano. No views of the crater area have been possible.

Despite this apparent ease in the level of activity, the Soufriere Hills volcano remains potentially lethal to people and property on both the eastern and upper western flanks . The lava dome is still unstable and it continues to grow. Under these conditions it will continue to disintegrate in sections producing deadly ash flows. These flows are easily channelled down the ghauts that lead into English's Crater. The Tar River, Long Ground and Whites areas to the east and upper Fort Ghaut, Gages Village and Upper Amersham areas to the west are all now extremely dangerous. The road between Lee's Estate and Ryners Village remains closed. People should not enter these areas under any circumstances. If they do, they put themselves and others at direct risk of very serious injury or horrible death. Visits to the other evacuated zones should be kept to an absolute minimum.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory