(The Herald Post) – The Colombian government has raised the alert level to orange for the Nevado del Ruiz volcano, urging the evacuation of approximately 2,500 families living in close proximity to the volcano, as a surge in seismic activity suggests an increased likelihood of an eruption in the coming days or weeks. The 1985 eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz, which resulted in over 25,000 fatalities, remains the deadliest natural disaster in Colombia’s history.
President Gustavo Petro has called for faster evacuation efforts, and disaster officials are considering relocating livestock or allowing farmers to return during the day to tend to their animals. Livestock is critical to the livelihoods of many residents in the rural area surrounding the volcano.
Despite the government’s efforts, some residents, including survivors of the 1985 eruption, are refusing to evacuate. Evelio Ortiz, a potato farmer who survived the previous eruption with his family, stated, “It doesn’t scare me because it already exploded. What was going to erode eroded.”
Approximately 57,000 people reside in the volcano’s hazard zone, which spans parts of six provinces. The national disaster management agency stresses that preventative evacuations are crucial due to the region’s poor communication infrastructure, which could hinder attempts to contact those living closest to the volcano in the event of an imminent eruption.
The 1985 eruption of the Nevado del Ruiz is the fourth-deadliest volcanic eruption in recorded human history, according to the Smithsonian Institution. The Nevado del Ruiz is a stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano.