Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Morning Update
Report for the period 16:00 18 August
to 07:00 19 August 1996

Activity at the Soufriere Hills volcano during the night has continued at about the same level and type as that observed during the past several days. Small- to moderate-sized rockfalls mainly from the eastern flank of the growing lava dome dominated the activity. Several larger-sized rockfalls which may have subsequently developed into pyroclastic flows were also recorded. A few small volcano-tectonic and hybrid earthquakes were also recorded.

The lower parts of the dome were occasionally visible during the early morning from the Observatory and Bramble Airport. No significant changes were immediately apparent. Steam emission was occurring from several areas of the dome.

Extreme care should still be exercised when driving in areas affected by recent ashfalls.

Further rockfalls and pyroclastic flows will occur but all indications at the moment are that these will be confined to the Tar River Valley area. These will obviously be associated with ash clouds which will be blown on the wind, with areas affected by ashfall being determined by the wind direction and strength at that time. The Tar River Valley is extremely hazardous and should not be entered under any circumstances.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory