May 7 (1603 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 7, 9:03 a.m., Pacific: The biggest news at this moment (to me — everyone in the area knew about it earlier, of course) is that they have reduced the exclusion zone from 15 km to 10 km, per Semana and other online news sources, because of the economic effects. Other activities are reported as well, but it’s the new 10-km line that’s in headlines.

This is a major international tourism area surrounding one of the most beautiful national parks in the world, and I’ve been seeing online squawks here and there about the loss of billions (USD), which I didn’t believe, although the economic effects undoubtedly must be severe.

Now it’s official, though I haven’t seen actual cost estimates and still doubt that it’s in the billions of US dollars — unless they’re factoring in the dopers.

The costs nevertheless must be high. As noted in this article: “A [2021] study published in Risk Analysis suggests that, when an alert remains elevated at any level above “normal” due to a period of volcanic unrest, it can cause a decline in the region’s housing prices and other economic indicators. Because of this, the authors argue that federal policymakers may need to account for the effects of prolonged volcanic unrest—not just destructive eruptions—in the provision of disaster relief funding.”

Yep, the guy with terrible fashion sense (even in the Seventies) nailed it:

And the two representatives of Objectivity — Science and Law — come off as unhinged and are escalating the situation.

In Colombia now, we are seeing a real-life equivalent of that fictional story, right down to the emotional investment (the 1985 victims), and it is being handled in a much calmer and more inclusive, organized way.

Emergency managers at dangerous volcanoes around the world are probably following this very closely and taking notes — which is good but it can only add to the pressure on all stakeholders around Ruiz just now.

I’m not going to give my opinion of the shrinkage of the Ruiz exclusion zone; it is not for me to say.

Here is today’s SGC update, Google Translated, following Jhon/VIDJCB’s video with morning scenes (and a moonset behind Ruiz!):

He reads the SGC update. Here it is, via Google, in English with emphasis either by the SGC or me:

Yesterday, May 6, the seismic activity associated with rock fracturing inside the volcanic edifice increased in terms of the number of earthquakes compared to the previous day (May 5). This seismicity was located mainly in the Arenas crater and in the northeastern, eastern, and southeastern sectors of the volcano, at a maximum distance of 2 km from it and with depths between 2 and 6 km. Some of these earthquakes were related to the activity of the lava dome (bulge or mound) located at the bottom of the crater. The maximum magnitude recorded was 1.6 (as reported yesterday), corresponding to an earthquake that occurred at 03:09 a.m., located 2 km southeast of the volcano, and approximately 3 km deep.

Regarding the seismic activity related to the movement of fluids inside the volcanic conduits, today it presented a similar behavior in number of earthquakes and in seismic energy released compared to the previous day (May 5). Some of the seismic signals were associated with pulsatile ash emissions confirmed through the web cameras used for volcanic monitoring. The maximum height of the column of gases and/or ash observed was 800 m measured from the top of the volcano. Yesterday, the preferential dispersion direction of the gas and/or ash column was west to the northwest of the volcano.

Also, yesterday, reports of sightings of various ash emissions from Murillo (Tolima) and slight ash fall in the municipality of Manizales (Caldas) were received.

Variations in the degassing of sulfur dioxide into the atmosphere continue, with levels similar to those observed in recent days and the release of water vapor from the crater into the atmosphere. Thermal anomalies continue to be observed at the bottom of the crater, and yesterday there were reports 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 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 be attentive to 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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