Watch | Volcano that wiped out town in Colombia, killed 25,000, is active again

WION Web Team
Bogota, Colombia Published: Nov 15, 2021, 08:54 AM(IST)

Aerial view of the Nevado del Ruiz volcano showing a plume of smoke and ashes (File Photo) Photograph:( AFP )

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When it erupted on November 13, 1985, the volcano emitted so much heat that it permanently melted the snow cover on the mountain

It has been 36 years since a volcanic eruption in Colombia decimated a town and killed more than 25,000 people. The same volcano that caused all that devastation was seen spewing ash and gas just this weekend.

"Noticeable" activity has been observed at the Nevado del Ruiz volcano since Saturday, the Colombian Geological Service reported.  

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The geological service in a tweet said that "Emisión de ceniza observada hoy a las 6:21 a.m. por medio de las cámaras instaladas en el área del Volcán Nevado del Ruiz. El Nivel de Actividad continúa en: Nivel Amarillo de actividad o (III): cambios en el comportamiento de la actividad volcánica. #sgcvolcanes".

This can be translated to "Ash emission observed today at 6:21 am through the cameras installed in the Nevado del Ruiz Volcano area. The Activity Level continues at Yellow Activity Level o (III): changes in the behaviour of volcanic activity."

Watch the volcanic activity here:


Located in western Colombia, the Nevado del Ruiz is one of the many volcanoes that are found on the Ring of Fire; a ring of volcanoes and earthquakes that surrounds the Pacific basin.

Late in 1985, after decades of dormancy, Nevado del Ruiz began to rumble. When it erupted on November 13, 1985, the volcano emitted so much heat that it permanently melted the snow cover on the mountain.

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As a result, Armero, a town of 50,000, was buried under a cascading wall of mud, killing half its residents.

The footage of 13-year-old Omayra Sanchez, trapped in the debris of her destroyed house with water and mud up to her neck, is etched in the minds of Colombians and people around the world. A victim of the 1985 eruption, she was trapped in mud for three days, eventually dying.

One of the deadliest volcanic eruptions of the 20th century, the eruption is considered the worst natural disaster in Colombian history.

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According to the geological service, Nevado del Ruiz has been in a state of instability for more than eleven years. 

This latest period of instability, which has lasted for more than eleven years, has been characterised by variable fumarolic activity. The geological service has also posted a graphic showcasing the current ash emissions, which closely resemble those from the years 2014 and 2015.



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