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Nevado del Ruiz volcano in central Colombia, 130 km WNW of Bogota, is a broad, glacier covered volcano. A relatively small eruption in 1985 caused a devastating mud flow that killed almost 25,000 people in the town of Armero, marking one of the worst volcanic disasters in history. Sadly, this tragedy could have been easily avoided if clear warnings by volcanologists had been taken seriously.
Small ash emission from Nevado del Ruiz yesterday evening (INGEOMINAS webcam)
Sporadic, usually small ash emissions continue to occur from time to time (every few days) such as last night (s. image attached). These explosions are likely phreatic in nature, i.e. driven by steam explosions inside the currently unstable hydrothermal system heated by an underlying magma intrusion at shallow depth. ...more
On 24 July, Washington VAAC reported a possible ash plume from Ruiz that rose to an altitude of 7.2 km (23,000 ft) a.s.l. On 26 July, an ash plume was detected that rose to an altitude of 6.9 km (22,000 ft) a.s.l. and drifted W. [less]
The volcano produced again several small to moderately-sized ash eruptions during yesterday and today, generating plumes that rose up to approx. 1 km above the crater. ...more
The most significant emissions occurred occurred yesterday morning at 08:22 and today at 07:48 local time and were accompanied by a strong tremor signals. Time-lapse video of the activity since yesterday dawn: [less]
Ash emission from Nevado del Ruiz yesterday (Azufrado webcam)
Sporadic mild explosions continue to occur from time to time, generating small ash plumes. Overall, the volcano's activity has decreased during the past weeks, but it remains in an unstable state. It is impossible to predict how the activity will evolve (could calm down further or increase) in the near to medium future. ...more
SGC maintains alert level III (yellow) on its scale from IV (green) to I (red). [less]
The volcano remains restless and produces intermittent ash explosions of varying size. An emission of ash yesterday forced the regional La Nubia airport to close down for a few hours and the volcano observatory reported a new pulse likely occurring a short time ago. ...more
While many emissions cannot be directly observed due to cloud cover, they have been rather frequent recently. Similar explosions were also observed on 17, 18, and 20 May when fine ash fall occurred in Manizales town 30 km northwest of the volcano.
Ash column from Nevado del Ruiz volcano this morning
A moderately strong explosion occurred at the volcano this morning at 08:04 local time, producing an ash column that rose 3,500 m to 30,000 ft (9 km) altitude and drifted NW. ...more
A strong pulse in tremor accompanied the eruption which likely caused ash fall in nearby areas. The Manizales volcano observatory reported that over the past days, a number of similar, but weaker tremor pulses were recorded at the volcano recently; when the summit of the volcano was not in clouds, it could be observed that at least some of them were also signs of small to moderate ash emissions.
Seismic signal OLL station showing the tremor pulse accompanying the eruption (SGC)
A series of small explosions occurred at the volcano yesterday. The first happened in the afternoon at 16:32 local time. The Manizales volcano observatory recorded a pulse in tremor and reported an ash plume that rose 1300 m above the summit. ...more
Similar explosions with ash emissions could be seen on webcam images at 18:15 and 18:40 (local time), before night obscured the view. No incandescence is visible from the crater. Light ash fall probably occurred in areas to the SW belonging to the departments of Quindío, Risaralda and Caldas.
Nevado del Ruiz' eruption column today (photo: Luis Guillermo Velásquez / La Patria)
An explosion occurred at the volcano this morning, producing an ash plume that rose 3000 m above the summit. The eruption was accompanied by Ash falls occurred later in several nearby towns to the NW including Chinchiná, Villamaría, Manizales and Palestine. ...more
The regional La Nubia airport was closed today after noon. [less]
This morning, a pilot reported to The Colombian Geologic Service an ash plume from the volcano to 22,000 ft (6.7 km) altitude, which would indicate a moderate explosive activity at the volcano took place. ...more
Whether or not this is the case is unclear at the moment, as sometimes weather clouds are being mistaken as ash plumes, in particular if the observation is at night (as in this case). On the other hand, mild ash emissions from Nevado del Ruiz have been occurring intermittently during the past months and a somewhat larger emission as reported this morning would not come as a surprise. [less]
Location of the M2.9 earthquake under Nevado del Ruiz on 17 Feb 2016
A shallow earthquake of magnitude 2.9 occurred under the volcano at 17:22 local time yesterday (17 Feb), the Manizales volcano observatory reported. The event could be felt by the local population. ...more
During 9-15 February seismicity at Nevado del Ruiz was characterized by long-period earthquakes and pulses of volcanic tremor associated with gas-and-ash emissions. Earthquakes occurred at depths between 1 and 7.6 km. The largest event was recorded at 0857 on 10 February; it was a local M 1.1, N of Arenas Crater at a depth of 5.7 km. Significant amounts of water vapor and gas rose from the crater during the week. A gas, steam, and ash plume rose 1.5 km and drifted NW on 13 February. The Alert Level remained at III (Yellow; "changes in the behavior of volcanic activity"). [less]
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