Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Daily Report
Report for the period 16:00 21 November
to 16:00 22 November 1996
The current alert level is AMBER

The activity at the volcano has remained at about the same level during the last 24 hours, with a continuation of some rockfalls from the October 1 dome. Although the danger of another explosive eruption seems to have decreased during the last week, the volcano remains in a dangerous state, and the level of activity could escalate at any time. Continued dome growth means that rockfall activity is likely to increase over the next few days to weeks, and there may be pyroclastic flows into the Tar River Valley. The Tar River and Long Ground areas remain especially dangerous and anyone entering these areas is risking death.

There were 9 moderate rockfall signals recorded by the seismic networks today, and two small VT earthquakes. Only one of the earthquakes could be located, and it was at a shallow depth beneath the crater. A flashflood signal was recorded by the Gages seismic station around 17:30 yesterday evening.

The eastern side of the volcano was clear late last night and early this morning, allowing good views of the active growth areas of the dome. Some glowing was also seen from the western side of the volcano, where the October 1 dome is now visible, rising above the old dome in places. Most of the activity is on the northeast side of the October 1 dome, and there are several new, small spines high up on the dome. Some of the rockfalls during the night generated small ash clouds, which were blown to the north by the light wind. Very minor ash fall was reported from St Johns this morning.

During the day, two sources of steaming from the dome were noted, with one of the steam plumes containing some ash.

A dome survey was attempted from the helicopter early this morning, but unfortunately the conditions deteriorated before the survey could be completed. No EDM measurements were possible, because of the low cloud which persisted for most of the day. No COSPEC measurements were made today.

MVO staff have visited the Montserrat Secondary School and Montserrat Technical College during the last two days, to make presentations to the students. This is part of an ongoing public education program, which continues with a public meeting in St Patricks tomorrow (Saturday) at 11 am, for all residents who continue to live in the unsafe zone.

Professor Ramsey Saunders and Lloyd Lynch from UWI in Trinidad arrived in Montserrat yesterday for a short visit. Dr John Bennett from the British Geological Survey arrived today also for a short visit. 16:00, 22 November 1996

Montserrat Volcano Observatory