Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Morning Update
Report for the period 16:00 01 October
to 07:00 02 October 1996

The volcano has remained relatively quiet overnight, with only a few earthquakes recorded. A short burst of small volcano-tectonic earthquakes occurred between 17:13 to 17:30 late yesterday evening. Apart from these events, seismic activity was dominated by very small rockfalls which are often only recorded by stations located on the flank of the volcano. A small regional earthquake was also recorded at 20:44 last night. The location of this event has not yet been determined.

The summit of the volcano is cloudy again this morning, and no views of the dome have been possible. A late afternoon flight yesterday indicated that much of the new dome is incandescent, with frequent rockfalls which only reach as far as the base of the new dome. These rockfall appear as glowing streams and were observed from several areas on the new dome. Incandescent material was observed in several other areas at the base of the scar feature. No incandescent material was visible on the northern or western slopes of the dome complex. A small ash cloud which drifted in a westerly direction was observed from the Observatory at 16:20 yesterday.

MVO scientists expect that rockfalls and possibly pyroclastic flows will occur as the new dome increases in size and as the unstable sides of the new scar feature at English's Crater stabilise. All indications are that the rockfalls and pyroclastic flows will be confined to the Tar River valley area but ashfalls may affect other areas. Dust masks should be worn at all times in ashy environments, which may persist for some time as ash dries out and blows around. Drivers should exercise caution and consideration for other road users, especially when driving through areas still affected by ash or gravel.

Individuals put themselves in extreme danger if they venture beyond the Long Ground area into the Tar River valley. All individuals passing checkpoints in whatever part of the island are reminded that they are entering areas which may become unsafe very quickly, and everyone should be on maximum alert in all of these areas. All residents of southern Montserrat are asked to once again ensure that they are familiar with evacuation procedures.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory