Montserrat Volcano Observatory

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

The situation at the volcano has remained the same today. The level of activity was low, with only a few rockfalls from the October 1 dome. Further inspections of the Galway's Wall showed that the wall is continuing to disintegrate, and it is very unstable. Further avalanches from the Galways Wall could happen at any time. A major collapse of the wall could expose hot, gas-rich magma from the lower sections of the dome, and trigger a lateral blast. This has the potential to cause major damage to St Patricks and the surrounding areas, and the death of any one in the area. The October 1 dome is still growing, and further rockfalls and pyroclastic flows are likely. This means that the Tar River and Long Ground areas are especially dangerous and anyone entering in these areas is risking death.

Inspections were made of the Galway's Wall this afternoon, from the helicopter and from the new observation point, on a ridge to the west of the wall. Another landslide had occurred since yesterday. This was not as large as the landslide observed two days ago. There are three new, large, open fractures on the wall, indicating that the wall continues to deform and is becoming increasingly unstable.

Seismic activity has been at a low level today, with only one volcano-tectonic earthquake. Eleven moderate rockfalls from the October 1 dome were also recorded.

Some visual observations of the dome were possible from the helicopter and from Whites. The north side of the October 1 dome is growing, and some glowing has been observed there tonight. There were several areas of steam venting on the dome.

A detailed survey of the Galway's Wall was made from the helicopter this morning. This survey will be used to help monitor the deformation of the wall. A survey of the dome was attempted this afternoon, but the conditions were variable.

EDM measurements were attempted on the eastern triangle, but was not successful due to low cloud, steaming and some ash in the air.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory