Soufriére Hills, Montserrat, West Indies

MVO reported that during 2-3 January activity from the Soufrière Hills lava dome increased drastically. On 2 January, an energetic pyroclastic flow and associated surge traveled down Tyers Ghaut (NW) and reached the upper part of Belham River. On 3 January, after a period of elevated seismicity, two explosions produced ash plumes to altitudes greater than 10.7 km (35,000 ft) a.s.l. Ashfall affected most of the island at elevations of 1.2 km (4,000 ft) a.s.l. and above. The explosions had significant “jet components” to at least 500 m above the dome. In-column collapses resulted in pyroclastic flows that traveled W and reached Plymouth (about 5 km W). After the second explosion, the level of activity decreased dramatically and remained low through 9 January. The Hazard Level remained at 4.

Sources: Montserrat Volcano Observatory (MVO), Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Center (VAAC) – “Reports provided courtesy of the Smithsonian’s Global Volcanism Program and the US Geological Survey’s Volcano Hazards Program.”

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