Nevado del Ruiz: May 24 (1705 UTC)

  • Status: Orange, but —

    The take-away here: Ruiz might wind up steadily, if that’s on its agenda, or it might just give them a few minutes’ notice before the “big one.”

  • Interactive official hazard map (autotranslated), via Relief Web; En español
  • USAID April 4th map (autotranslated) posted on May 18 at Relief Web.
  • Links to webcams, public data, and other information.
  • Update archive.

Update, May 24, 12:05 p.m., Pacific: Clouds obscure it on the cam right now, but Ruiz was beautifully nevado in morning sunshine when Jhon/VDCB collected images for his daily video today:

As always, he reads the SGC bulletin. This the gist of it via Google Translate, with emphasis by either SGC or me; I also added a note about VAAC advisories:

From 09:00 a.m. yesterday (May 23) until the time of publication of this bulletin, the activity seismic related to the movement of fluids inside the volcanic conduits presented increase in the number of earthquakes and in the seismic energy released compared to May 22. Some of the seismic signals were associated with confirmed pulsatile ash emissions through the web cameras used for volcanic monitoring.

NOTE: Despite the glistening white summit early this morning, a VAAC ash advisory was issued overnight. None is in effect now.

At the same time, seismic activity associated with rock fracturing inside the volcanic edifice was recorded, which showed an increase in the number of earthquakes and similar levels in seismic energy compared to May 23. The earthquakes were located in the Arenas crater and in the northeast and southwest of it, at a maximum distance of 3 km from the east and at depths ranged from 1 to 6 km.

Regarding surface activity, the maximum height of the gas and/or ash column was 1800 m measured from the top of the volcano and has presented a preferential direction of dispersion towards the northeast. Variations in sulfur dioxide degassing and output continue of water vapor from the crater to the atmosphere.

All these indicators ratify what we have reiterated from the SGC: the activity of the volcano Nevado del Ruiz is still very unstable. It is possible that the levels of seismic activity, as well as the levels of degassing or ash output decrease or are oscillating, in the sense to increase some days and decrease others. However, this does not imply that the volcano has returned to their normal levels of activity, so it is recommended not to get used to these changes oscillatory 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 there will be a larger eruption than it has done in the last 10 years. To change the level and return to the Yellow level, a period of time is required where trends and patterns can be observed that allow inferring the possible decrease in activity, aspects that the current activity of the volcano still does not show. For this, 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 the
processes that suggest an imminent eruption or that the eruption itself occurs, the level of activity will be changed to Red.

We recommend that the community remain calm, follow all the instructions of the Unit National 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 COLOMBIAN GEOLOGICAL SERVICE will continue to monitor the evolution of the volcanic phenomenon and will inform in a timely manner about the changes that may occur.

For more information visit the following link:

Featured image: Ric Photography/Shutterstock

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