Thieves stole scientific instruments used to monitor the highly active Nevado del Ruiz volcano in central Colombia, said scientists Wednesday.
Seismologic and Volcanic Observation Director Gloria Patricia Cortes told local media, “Wednesday morning we noticed there was no signal [from the equipment] and sent out a team to carry out maintenance and repair. Unfortunately when they arrived the discovered the equipment had been stolen.”
The instruments in question monitored mud flows near the Nevado del Ruiz volcano. Scientists said the stolen equipment was not of great monetary value, but was a crucial part of the monitoring systems which allow scientists to give the local population an advanced warning in case of eruptions.
The volcano has been fluctuating at high activity levels for the past several months and is currently at alert level yellow.
The last eruption of the volcano in 1985 wiped out the town of Armero and killed around 25,000 people.