Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Morning Update
Report for the period 16:00 08 September
to 07:00 09 September 1996

Activity at the Soufriere Hills volcano during the night continued at about the same relatively low level as that observed during the previous reporting period. Seismicity was dominated by a sequence of volcano-tectonic earthquakes which occurred from about 00:50 to 04:40 this morning 09 September. The number of rockfalls was low but a period of near-continuous small- to moderate-sized rockfall occurrence was recorded from 16:56 to 18:20 yesterday 08 September. The relatively high background tremor level on all seismic stations which is attributed to the effects of the wind continued during the update period at variable rates. Three of the seismic stations which were operational during the day stopped working during the night and attempts will be made to repair them as soon as possible.

Visibility was very poor during the early morning period because of low cloud cover on the volcano.

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 rainfall will make some ash-coated roadways very slippery so extreme care should still be taken when driving in ash affected areas. Dust masks should be worn at all times in ashy environments.

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

Montserrat Volcano Observatory