Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Morning Update
Report for the period 16:00 31 August
to 07:00 01 September 1996

Activity at the Soufriere Hills volcano during the night continued at about the same level observed during the previous reporting period. Small- to moderate-sized rockfalls occurred throughout the period. A sequence of volcano-tectonic and small hybrid earthquakes was recorded from around 20:06 until 22:40 yesterday 31 August. It was followed by a period of near-continuous rockfall and/or small pyroclastic flow activity which lasted until 02:00 this morning. The volcano-tectonic earthquakes were located at shallow depths beneath the crater region. Intermittent low-amplitude broadband tremor was also recorded at most of the stations closest to the Crater throughout the update period.

The cloud cover on the volcano was very low during the early morning period.

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. Extreme care should be taken when driving in areas affected by ashfalls. Dust masks should be worn in ashy environments.

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

Montserrat Volcano Observatory