Colombian Experts Warn of “Probable” Eruption of the Galeras Volcano

By Dialogo
May 12, 2009

Bogotá, 11 May (EFE). - The Colombian Institute of Geology and Mining (Ingeominas, state-run) issued an alert today that the Galeras volcano, which borders Ecuador and is located in the department of Nariño, was likely to erupt within days or weeks. The change from a yellow to orange alert indicates a "probable eruption within days or weeks," according to a communique issued by the entity at 18:36 local time (23.36 GMT). According to the monitors dedicated to Galeras, in the most recent hours seismic events associated with rock fractures and fluids have increased. The inhabitants of the affected area are advised to be alert for instructions from the local committees, which are in charge of instructing people on how to proceed in an emergency. Galeras’s most recent eruption, which occurred on April 25, left no casualties, but upset the inhabitants of Pasto, the capital of the department of Nariño. About 7,000 people live in Galeras’s danger area, which consists of some rural communities of Pasto. Galeras, located about 700 kilometers from Bogotá and rising 4276 meters above sea level, became active in 2004 and has since erupted several times. Its most dangerous eruption occurred on January 15, 1993, and killed nine people, including six foreign experts who were attending a world congress of volcanology and were making a scientific survey.