Activity at the Soufriere Hills volcano during this reporting period was generally similar to the relatively low level observed during the previous twenty four hours. It continues to be dominated by small- to moderate-sized rockfalls from the flanks of the growing lava dome.
Fourteen (14) rockfall, 11 hybrid and 13 long-period events were recorded. The largest rockfalls occurred at 06:18 and 12:16 on 15 July. The 12:16 event produced a visible, small ash cloud. The long-period and hybrid earthquakes were generally small. Two (2) small volcano-tectonic earthquakes were also recorded during this period and both were located at shallow depths (less than about 2 km) beneath the volcano. Near-continuous low- to moderate-amplitude broadband tremor was recorded by the Gages seismic station from about 00:30 to about 15:40 on 15 July 1996. This was most probably caused by increased steam emission from the Crater.
Visibility was generally poor throughout the whole observation period, with the volcano being obscured by clouds. However, a brief glimpse of parts of the dome in the mid-morning period revealed vigorous steaming tainted with bluish vapour.
GPS, EDM and gravity measurements were made today in the western part of the volcano but the data is still being processed. No COSPEC measurement was made today because of faulty instrumentation.
The Soufriere Hills Volcano is still considered to be highly dangerous to people and property on it's eastern and upper western flanks. Visits to the evacuated zone must be kept to a minimum. The Tar River and Long Ground areas to the east and upper Fort Ghaut, Gages Village and Upper Amersham areas to the west are all extremely dangerous. All access roads to these areas remain closed and people should not enter these areas under any circumstances. If they do, they put themselves and others at direct risk of serious injury or death.