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Colombia-USA binational exchange emphasizes emergency planning and preparedness.

September 25, 2013

Scientsts from the Pacific Northwest and Colombia work together to understand and communicate volcano hazards.

Colombia suffered one of the worst volcanic disasters of the 20th century in November, 1985, when ice-clad Nevado del Ruiz volcano erupted and communities at its base were destroyed by large lahars (volcanic debris flows). More than 23,000 fatalities occurred in the city of Armero and surrounding communities. The disaster had a profound and constructive effect on scientific and disaster management in Colombia and around the world.

Organized by the USGS-CVO and the Washington Emergency Management Division with support from the USAID's Office of U.S. Foreign Disaster Assistance, scientists, first-responders and emergency/hazard planning officials met in Colombia and again in the Puget Sound area to observe, learn and absorb best practices for preparing for and responding to volcanic crises.

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