Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Morning Update
Report for the period 16:00 21 August
to 07:00 22 August 1996

The level of activity at the Soufriere Hills volcano during the night was variable, with periods of relatively elevated activity being followed by ones of relative quiescence. Continuous low-amplitude broadband tremor at the beginning of the reporting period was followed by a swarm of small- to moderate-sized volcano-tectonic earthquakes. Near-continuous generation of small pyroclastic flows started from around 20:50 and stopped around 23:00. Occasional occurrence of small- to moderate-sized rockfalls continued until around 06:00 when there was a slight increase in the numbers. Most of the larger-sized rockfalls resulted in ash clouds and probably ashfalls in some areas of western Montserrat. Further rockfalls and pyroclastic flows and associated ash clouds should be expected. Preliminary calculation of locations for some of the VTs places them at shallow depths beneath the Crater area.

Visibility during the early morning from both the Observatory and Bramble Airport was poor.

Extreme care should be exercised when driving in areas affected by recent ashfalls. Please do not forget to wear dust masks.

The Tar River Valley and surrounding areas are extremely hazardous and should not be entered under any circumstances.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory