Authorities in central Colombia said Friday they are completely calm and highly prepared in the face of a potential eruption of the Nevada del Ruiz volcano.
The Mayor of the city of Manizales, Jorge Eduardo Ruiz, said a 24-hour patrol and alarm system meant residents living near the volcano should not be afraid, despite the orange alert currently in place.
Last month, experts reported plumes of smoke and sulfur dioxide emissions coming from the volcano, whose last eruption in 1985 killed around 25,000 people. The Los Nevados national park, which usually receives around 20,000 visitors during Holy Week, was closed and 17 municipalities were put on orange alert.
However Ruiz reassured residents Friday, saying emergency services were patrolling 24 hours a day and an excellent alarm system was in place.
Colombia’s National Risk Director Carlos Ivan Marquez said all municipalities which could be affected by the volcano had activated contingency plans in conjunction with the government.
He said the government was communicating daily with local residents about volcanic activity and what protective measures they should take, on the basis of information from the National Geological Service