Thursday, March 29, 2012

Montserrat volcano active again, Antigua

St. John’s Antigua- For the first time in two years, the Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO) monitoring the Soufriere Hills volcano noted unusual activity, with increased seismicity, accompanied by ash fall.

Acting Director of MVO Roderick Stuart said the change, which was noted on Friday, is a break from a long state of pause, thus a reminder the volcano is still very active and residents there must always be cautious and aware.

Stuart reported, “Last Friday we had the first sort of activity in the volcano in over two years. It generated some ash and because it was the first activity we had in two years, it was almost a precautionary measure that we closed daytime access to Zone C just in case this activity started something bigger,” Stuart told OBSERVER Media.

The authority also noted increased steam venting activity on the volcano and a new steam vent (fumarole) that appeared on the northwestern face of the lava dome behind Gages Mountain. Audible roaring associated with the venting were intermittently heard from the Observatory, 5.75 km northwest of the volcano.

The seismic network recorded nine rockfalls, 105 volcano-tectonic (VT) and four hybrid earthquakes. Additionally, two swarms of VT earthquakes occurred. Earthquakes in the second swarm were described as markedly larger than those in the first.

Consequently Zone C on the volcanic risk map was closed until Tuesday when there was a decrease in volcanic tectonic earthquakes below the volcano. Read More