May 6 (1916 UTC)

  • Status: Orange, but —

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

  • Interactive official hazard map (autotranslated), via Relief Web; En español
  • Links to webcams, public data, and other information.
  • Update archive.

Update, May 6, 12:16 p.m., Pacific: No change in the volcano AFAIK, but in terms of crisis management, this was tweeted an hour ago (read the whole thread; Twitter can translate it): a command post has been set up in Manizales (some background).

This may have already been in existence, according to Infobae (autotranslated): “For its part, the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management sent a group of delegates to be part of the Caldas Governor’s Unified Command Post, which will seek to prioritize various points of attention focused on the attention of an eventual emergency in the volcano.”

Update, May 6, 2023, 10:48 a.m., Pacific: In this excellent RTVC human-interest story (autotranslated) about lookouts based on the volcano, I have probably found the source of that light, spotted via the Cerro GualĂ­ cam and mentioned in an earlier update (the light was there last night, too).

If it wasn’t for the Moon, we wouldn’t be able to see even this hint of Ruiz’ vast bulk towering over that tiny, bright sign of “H. sapiens” on guard.

No VAAC advisory is in effect at the moment.

Per today’s SGC update, there isn’t much change in the volcano’s status.

The Google Translated version is below this video from Jhon /VIDBC, showing morning images of the volcano before clouds moved in (on the satellite views, you can see the reason for those clouds: hot, moist air above nearby warm Pacific waters condenses as it lifts over the Andean front).

He reads the SGC update on these videos. Here is most of it in English, with emphasis added either by the SGC or me:

Yesterday, May 5, and so far today, seismic activity related to the movement of fluids inside the volcanic conduits has predominated. This activity presents a similar behavior in terms of the number of earthquakes and seismic energy released compared to the previous day (May 4). Some of these signals have been related to pulsatile ash emissions, confirmed through the web cameras used for volcanic monitoring.

Regarding the seismic activity associated with rock fracturing within the volcanic edifice, it showed a decrease in the number of registered earthquakes and in the seismic energy released, compared to the previous day. The seismicity was located mainly in the Arenas crater and in the east-northeast sector, at a maximum distance of 4 km from it. The depths of the earthquakes ranged from 1 to 6 km. During this morning, until 08:30 a.m., this seismicity has been located in the southeastern sector and the maximum magnitude registered so far has been 1.6, corresponding to the earthquake registered at 03:09 a.m., located 2.0 km southeast of Arenas crater and 3.5 km deep.

Variations continue in the degassing of sulfur dioxide, which has shown a slight increase in recent days, and the release of water vapor into the atmosphere from the crater. The maximum height of the column of gases and/or ash observed yesterday was 1200 m 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.

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 will remain at 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): PROBABLE ERUPTION IN TERMS OF 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:

Again, as Dr. Makario Londoño notes in that May 1st tweet at the top of this post, if Ruiz cuts loose they may only have ten minutes or so to spread the word in a red/rojo alert.


Featured image: Ric Photography/Shutterstock

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