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Keeping watch over Colombia’s slumbering volcanoes

February 27, 2015

Located in the Central Cordillera (Colombian Andes), Nevado del Ruiz is a volcanic complex, topped by glaciers, rising 5,321 m above sea level. A relatively small explosive eruption from Ruiz's summit crater on November 13, 1985, generated an eruption column and sent a series of pyroclastic flows and surges across the volcano's ice-covered summit. Pumice and meltwater produced by the hot pyroclastic flows and surges swept into gullies and channels on the slopes of Ruiz as a series of lahars. Within two hours of the beginning of the eruption, lahars had traveled 100 km and left behind a wake of destruction: more than 25,000 people were killed (23,000 in the town of Armero and 2,000 in the town of Chinchiná), about 5,000 injured, and more than 5,000 homes destroyed along the Chinchiná, Gualí, and Lagunillas rivers.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2015
Title Keeping watch over Colombia’s slumbering volcanoes
DOI 10.1029/2015EO025079
Authors Milton Ordoñez, Christian López, Jorge Alpala, Lourdes Narváez, Dario Arcos, Maurizio Battaglia
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Eos, Earth and Space Science News
Series Number
Index ID 70142775
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Volcano Science Center