Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia May Erupt in “Days to Weeks”
- By Erik Klemetti
- March 31, 2012 |
Some news brought to my attention by Eruptions reader Sherine merited a quick Saturday post. Thedeveloping volcanic crisis at Nevado del Ruiz in Colombia looks like it is continuing to escalate. INGEOMINAS, the Colombian geological survey, released a “special bulletin” this afternoon elevating the alert status at Nevado del Ruiz to Orange Level (II). This means that the signs of activity at the volcano suggest that an eruption is likely in the days to weeks timescale. Marta Calvache from INGEOMINASmentioed that over the past few days the volcano has experienced tremor related to “fluid motion” (likely magma), rock fracture earthquakes at the summit have been increasing in pulses and sulfur dioxide emissions continue to be high.
So far, INGEOMINAS thinks any potentially eruption will be smaller than the activity seen during Ruiz’slast eruptive period between 1985-1989. The major hazard from Ruiz is the lahars that can be generatedas ash and other volcanic material mix with melted snow and ice at the summit. There is also the potential for ash fall (especially hazardous for those with respiratory problems) on towns and cities in the area, including Manizalez and Pereira, both of which are less than 50 km from the volcano, and Bogotá, only ~120 km from Ruiz. If you live in the area around Ruiz, be sure to examine the INGEOMINAS volcanic hazard map to see the places with the highest probability of lahars and pyroclastic flows. Taking a look at the INGEOMINAS Azufrado webcam for Ruiz, a plume can be seen coming from the summit area (see below) while the webicorder shows the increasing seismicity as well. You can also get a glimpse of the volcano from an INGEOMINAS webcam in Manizalez.