The increased level of rockfall activity has continued overnight, with a total of 7 such events triggering the seismic network. Although still relatively small, these rockfalls are reaching past the base of Castle Peak and into the upper part of the Tar River valley. Two small volcano-tectonic earthquakes were also recorded; the one that could be located had a hypocentre at a depth of about 2 km somewhere to the north of the crater area.
The eastern side of the volcano was very clear last night and observations of the growth patterns on the dome were possible. Most of the activity is occurring on the northeastern flank of the October 1 dome although some activity was also noted on the northwest side. Rockfalls were seen to comprise avalanches of red-hot rock from high on the dome, where several small spines have grown.
Continued good views this morning mean that a survey of the dome is under way. A strong steam plume is visible rising vertically from the volcano and drifting slowly northwards. The northerly direction of the wind overnight also meant some very light ashfall in all areas to the north of the volcano, including St Johns.
The volcano remains in a dangerous state and we ask that people to remain prepared and vigilant. Continued and greater rockfall activity is possible in the next few days, which will generate some ash. Tar River and Long Ground are particularly dangerous due to the high potential for pyroclastic flow activity, and people entering these areas risk death.