A series of seismic events within the volcano El Ruiz shook towns near Bogota over the weekend, as cameras from the Colombian Geological Service (SGC) captured geysers of hot gas and ash.
Constant seismic activity in the last three days has experts hyper vigilant. Nevado del Ruiz, a hulking 17,457 ft volcano straddling the border of the Caldas and Tolima departments, is the most observed volcano in the country. El Ruiz took the world stage in 1985 when a tragic eruption destroyed Armero, claiming an estimated 25,000 lives.
The largest earthquake, of 4.0 magnitude with a depth of 4.6 miles, was reported by the SGC on Sunday morning. The seismic activity registered since April 13th through yesterday’s earthquake has been “associated with fracturing of rock on the interior of the volcanic structure,” according to the SGC website.
El Ruiz is a stratovolcano, meaning that it is made of alternating layers of lava and hardened volcanic ash. The eruptions from El Ruiz can cause lahars, or flows of mud and debris. The eruption before the lahar which destroyed Armero was relatively small.
El Ruiz has been active for an estimated two million years.
- Manizales (Colombian Geological Service)
- El Ruiz, un volcan nevado activo que se resiste a calmarse (Caracol Radio)
- Volcan nevado del Ruiz no deja de rugir (El Neuvo Dia)