Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Daily Report
Report for the period 16:00 01 September
to 16:00 02 September 1996

The level of activity at the Soufriere Hills volcano during this reporting period was about the same as that observed during the past few days until 14:00 today when a series of pyroclastic flows in the Tar River Valley started.

One hundred and fifty one (151) rockfalls had occurred before 13:00 today when a period of near-continuous small- to moderate-sized rockfall activity began and lasted until 14:00. The near-continuous rockfall activity was followed by a series of small- to moderate-sized pyroclastic flows until the end of this reporting period at 16:00. These flows were all confined within the Tar River Valley, especially the central and southern areas of the Valley. The associated ash clouds were blown on the wind towards the northwest, resulting in ashfalls in Lees, Gages, St. George's Hill, Cork Hill, Weekes, Garibaldi Hill, Old Towne, Salem, and as far north as Woodlands. The maximum reported height attained by the ash clouds during this period of pyroclastic flows was about 15,000 ft above sea level but an aircraft flying northwest of Montserrat reported an ash cloud drifting towards the west-north-west at about 20,000 ft. At least two of the pyroclastic flows reached the sea. Since 16:00, the activity has been lower, consisting of intermittent small- to moderate-sized rockfalls and a few small pyroclastic flows.

COSPEC and EDM measurements were not attempted today.

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. People in areas affected by ash falls should exercise great care when driving. Dust masks should be worn in ashy environments.

The Tar River Valley and surrounding areas are now extremely hazardous, and should not be entered under any circumstances. We urge individuals who continue to ignore this advice to think very seriously before making trips to these highly hazardous zones.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory