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Explosive eruptions at Soufrière Hills produce ashfall and evacuations 5 January 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Caribbean, eruptions, Soufrière Hills.
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The Antigua Sun is reporting ‘two very explosive eruptions’ at Montserrat’s Soufrière Hills volcano early on Saturday morning, following two days of intensified activity:

An increase in activity at Montserrat’s Soufrière Hills Volcano has led to the evacuation of approximately 70 people and has sent a considerable amount of ash across to Antigua. Activity of the volcano increased drastically last Thursday when it emitted more explosions than normal. However, because the instruments used to monitor the volcano give very little in the way of warning, no overnight warning was issued to prepare inhabitants for the increased activity that occurred last Friday. Then, early last Saturday morning, two very explosive eruptions took place, one at 5 a.m. and the other at 7 a.m., local time. Both eruptions sent ash 12 to13 kilometres (approximately 356,000 feet) high.

Ashfall has affected much of Montserrat, particularly in the south, and meteorologists in Antigua are reporting ‘considerable’ falls of ash.

On 2 January the Montserrat Government’s National Disaster Preparedness Response and Advisory Committee (NDPRAC) restricted access to the island’s Zone B, west of the volcano (click here for hazard zone maps from the MVO). The Montserrat Reporter has a report on recent activity, including pictures from 31 December and 1 January, and the text of the NDPRAC press release for 2 January 2009.

The latest update on the Montserrat Volcano Observatory website (click on ‘Activity This Week’) covers the period 26 December 2008 to 2 January 2009.

The wind shifts, escalates activity at Soufriere Hills volcanoMontserrat Reporter, 2 January 2009
Soufriere Hills explosions create disruptionsAntigua Sun, 4 January 2009
70 evacuated in Montserrat, Antigua experiences heavy ash fallAntigua Sun, 4 January 2009

Global Volcanism Program: Soufrière Hills – information about Soufrière Hills volcano (1600-05=)
Montserrat Volcano Observatory – detailed and up-to-date information from the MVO
Soufrière Hills Volcano – wonderful pictures and copious information/analysis from Photovolcanica (warning: all on one page, so takes ages to load)

The Volcanism Blog



1. Perry - 5 January 2009

The Antigua Sun has got its conversion figures wrong. 13 kilometres = 42,900 feet or 8.125 miles.

356,000 feet is 67.42 miles.

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