Nevado del Ruiz, 2023: May 4, 2127 UTC

  • Status: Orange, but —

    They don’t usually make such tweets daily. See May 1st 5:04 p.m. update below.

  • Links to data and other information.
  • Update archive.

May 4, 2023, 2:27 p.m., Pacific: Well, the volcano is still at ORANGE, with no major escalation or stepdown in activity noted.

There was a shallow M2.5 earthquake reported this morning in the Armero area.

However, this was tweeted ten minutes ago: authorities have closed the whole Los Nevados park (only those areas close to Ruiz were closed before, I believe correction: Dr. Wikipedia reports that the park has been closed since March 31).

This was probably just a reminder.

And another quake occurred in the general area a little while ago.

Caracol Radio reported that they have asked the geologists if it’s connected to the Ruiz activity and are still waiting for a reply.

The webicorder I’ve been following is current up to 1605 1600 Colombian time and picked up both the most recent one (last big signal; I don’t know what the first big signal is from):

If I were a geologist, I wouldn’t know how to answer Caracol Radio’s query.

Overall, at the moment, the situation at Nevado del Ruiz seems to this layperson as a steady state, but one really needs to set up all the reports and compare them — a task that can give insight but one that most of us laypeople have no time for.

From now on and until there are major changes one way or the other, I will just give the Google translation of the body of each bulletin, with emphasis added either by the SGC or by me, so we can all ponder the overall picture.

And starting it out, as usual lately here, is a video by Jhon/VIDJCB with some views of Ruiz this morning and other nice graphics.

It’s in Spanish, but the bulk of it is his reading the SGC’s bulletin:

Yesterday, May 3 and so far today, the predominance of seismic activity related to the movement of fluids inside the volcanic conduits continues, which presents a similar behavior in terms of the number of earthquakes and seismic energy released. compared to the day before (May 2). Some seismic signals associated with this type of seismicity have been related to confirmed pulsatile ash emissions through web cameras used for volcanic monitoring.

On May 3, the seismic activity associated with rock fracturing inside the volcanic edifice showed a similar behavior in the number of registered earthquakes and a decrease in the seismic energy released, compared to the previous day. The seismicity was located mainly in the Arenas crater and in the northeastern sector of the volcano, at distances between 2 and 4 km from it. The depths of the earthquakes ranged from 2 to 5 km.

The degassing of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere and the escape of water vapor from the crater continue. The maximum height of the column of gases and/or ash observed yesterday was 1400 m (in dispersion) measured from the top of the volcano. Regarding the direction of dispersion of the column, it had a preferential direction towards the northwestern sector of the volcano.

There is a report of ash fall in the municipality of Neira (Caldas). Thermal anomalies are also still being observed at the bottom of the crater; yesterday and until 8:00 a.m. As of today, several reports have been obtained from surface monitoring satellite platforms.

All these indicators ratify what the SGC has reiterated: the activity of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano continues to be highly unstable. It is possible that the levels of seismic activity, as well as the levels of degassing or ash output, decrease or be oscillating, in the sense of increasing on some days and decreasing on others. However, this does not imply that the volcano has returned to its normal levels of activity, so it is recommended not to get used to these oscillating changes in activity and think that it is a normal activity of the volcano.

Therefore, we reiterate that the activity of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano continues at ORANGE LEVEL, which indicates that there is a probability that in days or weeks it will erupt more than it has in the last 10 years. To change the level and return to the yellow level, a prudential time is required where trends and patterns can be observed that allow us to infer the possible decrease in activity, aspects that the current activity of the volcano still does not show. For this reason, from the SGC we warn that the level of activity of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano remains ORANGE LEVEL for several weeks. During this time, in the event of an acceleration of processes suggesting an imminent eruption or the eruption itself occurring, the activity level will be changed to red.

We recommend that the community remain calm, follow all the instructions of the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (UNGRD) and local authorities, and be attentive to the information provided by the Colombian Geological Service on the evolution of the state of the volcano.

The level of activity of the volcano remains at ORANGE LEVEL of activity or (II): ERUPTION LIKELY WITHIN DAYS OR WEEKS.

The COLOMBIAN GEOLOGICAL SERVICE will continue to monitor the evolution of the volcanic phenomenon and will inform opportunely about the changes that may occur.

For more information visit the following link:

Featured image: Ric Photography/Shutterstock

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