The Hazard Level System was updated on 4 November 2011.
The Government of Montserrat, the Disaster Management Coordinating Agency (DMCA) and the MVO have adopted a Hazard Level System which has been used at the Soufrière Hills Volcano, Montserrat since August 1, 2008. The purpose of the system is to improve management of the ongoing eruption and to provide important information to the residents of Montserrat.
The Hazard Level System has replaced the Alert Level System. The Hazard Level is not related to the old Alert Level.
The Hazard Level System divides the southern two-thirds of Montserrat into five zones, with two Maritime Exclusion Zones. Access permission for each of these zones is dependent on the Hazard Level. The Hazard Level, which ranges from 1 to 5 is set by NDPRAC on the advice of MVO.
Leaflets and posters explaining the Hazard Level System are available from the offices of the DMCA, MVO, airport and many other locations in Montserrat. They can also be downloaded as pdf files in the download area.
|Unrestricted||Daytime access||Daytime access to some areas||Daytime transit||Controlled access||Essential workers|
|Ashfall and lahars can be significant hazards in all areas, and require appropriate precautions.||Access is permitted from 8:00 am until 4:00 pm. Access gates will be locked at all other times.||Areas will be defined depending on state and location of the volcanic activity.||Boats permitted to travel through the MEZ without stopping from 6:30 am until 5:30 pm.||No access without approval from NDPRAC. Approval considered on a case-by-case basis. Gates will be locked at all times.||No access apart from MVO and associated staff. Access for essential maintenance only with approval from NDPRAC. Gates will be locked at all times.|
|Hazard level or access restrictions may be changed for severe weather such as unusually high rainfall, storms or hurricanes.|
|Typical Activity2||More than one year with no measured activity.||No activity that threatens the north or west.3
Low measured activity.4
|Mild activity that threatens the west.5
Significant change of measured activity.6
High measured activity.7
|Lava extrusion that threatens the north or west.
Large unstable dome to the north or west.
|Threat of large pyroclastic flows to the north or northwest.
Threat of lateral blast or sector collapse.
|B||Unrestricted||Unrestricted||Unrestricted||Controlled access||Controlled access|
|C||Unrestricted||Daytime access||Controlled access||Controlled access||Essential workers|
|F||Unrestricted||Daytime access||Daytime access||Controlled access||Controlled access|
|V||Daytime access to some areas||Essential workers||Essential workers||Essential workers||Essential workers|
|Maritime Exclusion Zones||W||Unrestricted||Daytime transit||Daytime transit||Essential workers||Essential workers|
|E||Unrestricted||Essential workers||Essential workers||Essential workers||Essential workers|
Download the fullsize hazard zone guide here.