Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Daily Report
Report for the period 16:00 28 October
to 16:00 29 October 1996
The current alert level is AMBER

The level of activity at the volcano has continued at about the same rate as before. There have been only a few volcano-tectonic earthquakes, and an increase in the number and size of rockfalls. Visibility has been variable, and good views of the crater area were achieved early this morning.

There were 7 volcano-tectonic earthquakes during the period, of which only three were large enough to locate. These were at shallow depths beneath the crater. The number of rockfall signals has increased slightly. Two signals, at 07:29 and 08:02, were associated with rockfalls from the east face of the October 1 dome. An episode of flash flooding in Fort Ghaut was recorded by the Gages seismic station between 07:50 and 09:25.

The viewing conditions were excellent at first light this morning. The eastern face of the dome has changed slightly since yesterday. Some rockfalls came from the middle of the face, and these are undercutting the steep upper section, leaving some overhanging blocks. Several rockfalls during the thunderstorm this morning were among the largest seen from the October 1 dome. These rockfalls came from different areas of the dome, and resulted in moderate ash clouds. The deposits from these rockfalls went into the upper reaches of the Tar River valley.

A survey of the dome was carried out from the helicopter this morning, using the range-finding binoculars to measure the position of points on the dome. These measurements will be used to determine the size of the dome, although the results will take a couple of days to process.

No EDM measurements were made today. COSPEC measurements were not possible because the wind was blowing in the wrong direction.

The volcano remains in an active and highly dangerous state. Further activity, possibly leading to an explosive event could occur with little warning in the near future. Everyone who enters the evacuated zone must remain alert and be ready to move at short notice. Individuals who go beyond the Long Ground area into the Tar River valley are risking death.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory