The alert level of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano, located in central Colombia, changed from yellow to orange by the increased probability of eruption, reported this Friday the Colombian Geological Service (SGC).
"The level of activity of the volcano changes to orange level of activity or (II): probable eruption in term of days or weeks"said the SGC and the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (Ungrd) in a joint statement.
Two days ago the Geological Service had warned of an increase in the activity of the Nevado del Ruiz, which in 1985 caused the biggest natural disaster in Colombia.
The information of this Friday added that "since March 24 there has been a significant increase in seismic activity associated with rock fracturing within the volcanic edifice"located in the limits of the departments of Tolima and Caldas.
"This seismicity is located on the southwestern flank of the volcano at a distance from two to five kilometers from the Arenas crater, at depths between two and four kilometers from the top of the volcano.".
The authorities highlighted "an increase in the daily rate of occurrence, on March 28 with 6,500 earthquakes and on March 29 with more than 11,000 earthquakes" and until Thursday night more than 9,600 had been registered.
With an altitude of 5,364 meters, the Nevado del Ruiz caused on November 13, 1985 a catastrophe when an eruption and melting of its glaciers They caused an avalanche that devastated the town of Armero (Tolima), where more than 23,000 of its 25,000 inhabitants died.
The SGC explained this Friday that the volcano has been in an eruptive process for about 10 years, but all the events that have occurred in this period have been minor and, in most cases, its affectation has been limited to the surrounding areas. of the mountain depending on the direction of the wind.
All of the above "It is possible that this volcanic phenomenon continues to occur without implying a greater risk", added the document.
PREPARING FOR AN EMERGENCY
The director of the Ungrd, Javier Pava, asked the departmental and municipal councils for risk management within the area of influence "intensify response preparation actions, including aspects such as verification and adaptation of evacuation routes, meeting points, as well as updating territorial response strategies".
The departments of Caldas, Tolima, Risaralda, Quindío and Cundinamarca are under the influence of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano.
Pava added that if the situation requires it, a regional Unified Command Post (PMU) will be installed in which the entities, municipal and departmental authorities that are part of the area of influence of the volcano will be summoned.