Around 9,000 people living in the risk zones of the Galeras and Huila volcanoes have ignored orders to evacuate the vicinity, national emergency services warned on Tuesday. Both volcanoes are on a code orange alert and are in imminent danger of erupting.
“The community in the high threat area have heard our advice and have not evacuated to safe points. Occupation is minimal in the hostels we have provided, there are only 160 people. These shelters can accommodate five thousand people at least,” national emergency services director Carlos Ivan Marquez told Caracol Radio.
Officials in southern Colombia issued a code orange alert on Sunday for the newly-active Galeras volcano, which they said could erupt in a matter of days or weeks.
Authorities said they are continuing to monitor the nearby Nevado del Huila volcano, also on orange alert, where sizeable volcanic activity also has been detected in recent weeks.
Marquez asked locals to heed emergency warnings and evacuate from the high risk areas.
The International Red Cross is maintaining constant monitoring of the two volcanoes. The aid organization is ready to implement a hospital system and deliver humanitarian supplies of food if necessary.