Montserrat Volcano Observatory

Morning Report
Report for the period 16:00 24 December
to 07:00 25 December 1996
Christmas Day
The current alert level is ORANGE

Seismic activity beneath the Soufriere Hills volcano remains at a relatively high level, with the continuation of hybrid events which merge into continuous tremor at certain times. A peak in activity occurred at around midnight and the seismicity is building up again currently to an expected peak within the next hour or so. The strong 8 hour cycles currently present in the seismicity are not easily explained, but they have been seen before, prior to dome collapse and pyroclastic flow generation in late July through to September.

The dome is currently covered in cloud so that no observations have been possible. It is thought that dome growth is at a high rate at present, and generation of rockfalls and pyroclastic flows is to be expected on the eastern flank of the volcano. Any ash generated will be carried westwards or northwestwards by the wind.

Large dome collapses have in the past led to explosive eruptions, and Montserratians are asked to abide by the Alert System throughout this festive period. MVO will be on full alert and able to advise the public of any changes in the status of the volcano.

All staff at MVO wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas.

Montserrat Volcano Observatory