One of the world’s deadliest volcanoes is poised to erupt in the coming days – after killing 25,000 people in 1985
Colombia’s Nevado del Ruiz, one of the world’s most deadly volcanoes, has been showing alarming signs of activity recently, leading officials to raise the alert to the second highest scale and evacuate thousands of families from the surrounding area. The volcano last erupted in 1985, causing one of the deadliest volcanic disasters in human history, with over 25,000 people losing their lives. Now, with a surge in seismic activity and thousands of daily earthquakes recorded, experts believe that Nevado del Ruiz could erupt once again in the coming days.
Colombia’s Geological Service (CGS) has been monitoring the situation closely, and last week they recorded an astonishing 6,000 earthquakes per day at Nevado del Ruiz. CGS believes that this increased activity is due to magma moving through the fault system, indicating that the volcano is becoming more active and could be preparing for another eruption. As a result, more than 2,500 families have been evacuated from the hazard zone, which includes parts of six provinces and is home to around 57,000 people.
Nevado del Ruiz is a stratovolcano, formed about 150,000 years ago, and reaches an elevation of 17,717 feet. It is located about 80 miles west of the capital city Bogotá and is composed of many layers of lava and volcanic ash. Its last major eruption in 1985 was not considered large, but it caused devastating mudflows that buried villages under tons of earth and rock fragments. The mudflows were triggered by the heat released during the eruption, which melted the glacier capping the volcano and created torrents of mud that raced down the slopes, engulfing everything in their path.
As officials work to evacuate nearby residents, President Gustavo Petro has called for swift action to ensure the safety of those living in the area. Disaster officials are also considering the relocation of livestock, which is critical to the livelihoods of many farmers in the rural region. Farmers may be allowed to return during the day to care for their animals, but the situation remains uncertain as the volcano’s activity continues to increase.
The 1985 eruption of Nevado del Ruiz was a stark reminder of the devastating power of volcanoes and the need for preparedness and timely evacuation measures. As the volcano shows signs of reawakening, it serves as a crucial reminder for local authorities and communities to be vigilant and proactive in monitoring volcanic activity and ensuring the safety of those living in the vicinity of active volcanoes. With the potential for another deadly eruption looming, the priority must be the protection of human lives and the implementation of effective disaster management strategies. As the world watches and waits, hoping for the best, the memory of the 1985 tragedy serves as a stark reminder of the need to be prepared for the worst when it comes to the power of nature.