Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Morning Update
Report for the period 16:00 29 August
to 07:00 30 August 1996

Activity at the Soufriere Hills volcano during this update period continued first with the same persistent low-amplitude broadband tremor observed towards the end of the previous observation period until about 00:30 this morning. During the same period, a sequence of small volcano-tectonic earthquakes was recorded from 18:30 to 23:15 on 29 August. Near-continuous small- to moderate-sized rockfall and possible small pyroclastic flow occurrence was recorded between 22:00 on 29 August and 00:30 on 30 August. Since 00:30 this morning, the level of activity has been slightly lower although another sequence of small VTs restarted at around 06:30 this morning. Preliminary calculations of the locations of some of the VTs places them at shallow depths beneath the crater.

Visibility during the early morning was poor but brief glimpses of parts of the dome were obtained from Bramble Airport Control Tower. These views indicated that two extruded features (possibly spines) may exist in the central part of the eastern dome. A layer of very light ash was also reported drifting towards the south at about 3,500 ft above sea level.

Extreme care should be exercised when driving in areas affected by recent ashfalls. Please do not forget to wear dust masks. Further rockfalls and pyroclastic flows will occur but all indications at the moment are that the pyroclastic flows will be confined to the Tar River Valley area. However, areas affected by associated ashfalls will obviously depend on the direction and strength of the wind at the time.

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

Montserrat Volcano Observatory