May 8 (1617 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 8, 9:16 a.m., Pacific: There isn’t much change, up or down, noted in today’s SGC update.

This is the toughest part of volcanic unrest for us laypeople: waiting, in a state of vigilance.

Colombian media are helping, with coverage like this (autotranslated): What NOT to do in a volcanic eruption.

And more help reportedly (autotranslated) is on the way as the European Union provides some humanitarian aid.

Here is Jhon/VIDJCB’s video for today — time-lapse movies from SGC webcams — showing a clear Nevado del Ruiz early this morning.

Here is the Google-Translated version of this morning’s SGC update, which Jhon reads as part of his videos.

Emphasis is either by SGC or me:

Yesterday, May 7, and so far today, seismic activity related to the movement of fluids inside the volcanic conduits has predominated. This seismicity has presented a slight increase in the number of earthquakes and the seismic energy released compared to the previous day (May 6). Some of these signals have been related to pulsatile ash emissions, confirmed through the web cameras used for volcanic monitoring. In parallel, the record of seismicity associated with rock fracturing inside the volcanic edifice continues, which showed a similar behavior in the number of earthquakes and in seismic energy compared to the previous day (May 6). The earthquakes were located in the Arenas crater and scattered around it, at a maximum distance of 6 km and at depths between 1 and 5 km.

Regarding surface activity, the maximum height of the column of gases and/or ash observed was 1800 m measured from the top of the volcano and was related to an ash emission recorded on May 6 at 11:54 p.m. The preferential dispersion direction of the gas column was towards the southwest and northwest of the volcano.

From satellite monitoring platforms, several significant thermal anomalies were observed at the bottom of the crater. On the other hand, the variations in the degassing of sulfur dioxide and the release of water vapor from the crater into the atmosphere are maintained.

These indicators confirm that the activity of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano continues to be very unstable and that it is necessary to continue with prevention measures. 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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