The alert level for central Colombia’s Nevado del Ruiz volcano was lowered from red to orange Monday, reported local media.
Colombia’s meteorological institute IDEAM, which has been monitoring the volcano closely since plumes of smoke and sulfur dioxide emissions were reported last month, made the decision after studying areas below the volcano. Its last eruption in 1985 killed around 25,000 people, and it is estimated up to 500,000 people could be at risk if it erupts again.
IDEAM had raised the level to red Sunday due to heavy rains, which would increase the risk of avalanches should the volcano erupt.
“Being in the middle of the rainy season, we suggest people remain vigilant and to keep watch for new events in the days that heavy rains occur,” said an IDEAM spokesperson.
Authorities said last week said local residents should not be afraid, as an effective 24-hour patrol and alarm system was in place.