In a brief statement, MVO said that the event occurred at 1:49 pm, lasting seven minutes and sending pyroclastic flows mainly to the west of the volcano “rapidly reaching Plymouth (the old capital) and spreading across the sea for around 500 miles”.
It said that short pyroclastic flows also travelled down Tyers Ghaut to the northwest and Whites Ghaut to the northeast of the island.
“A plume rose rapidly to 21,000 ft. There were no lapilli or ash fallout in inhabited regions due to an easterly wind direction, MVO said.
The volcano has been active since it roared back to life in 1995.