Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Increased volcanic activity monitored in central Colombia‎

Authorities in central Colombia are keeping a close eye on recent activity reported at Nevado del Ruiz volcano although an eruption is "not expected."

The Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Manizales reported plumes of smoke and sulfur dioxide emissions last week. According to observatory director Gloria Patricia Cortes, the recent emissions were caused by previous eruptions and were not a major source of concern.

Residents adjacent to the Los Nevados National Park, located 80 miles west of Bogota, have raised concerns over their safety, but authorities are assuring the public that all necessary precautions are being taken.

Nevado del Ruiz has been at yellow alert since 2010. If an eruption was imminent, the alert level would be increased to orange.

"Although we do not currently have a state of alert, emergency committees themselves should be aware of information that we provide about a change in volcanic activity. A yellow level of activity means that an eruption is not expected, but neither can it be ruled out," explained Cortes.

Nevado del Ruiz last erupted in 1985, killing 25,000 people. Source

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