Colombia: Galeras Volcano IASC Situation Report no. 1



Yesterday, January 17th, 2008, at 20:06, an explosive eruption occurred by the Galeras Volcano. This event was registered by INGEOMINAS, for which reason it raised the level of volcanic activity from Level III to Level I.

As of January 18th, 2008, Level I is maintained, reporting: "Normal seismicity with fluid; solidification of vents and increase of internal temperature. There are no symptoms of stability".


Panic occurred among the inhabitants of Pasto due to the explosion and 5 seismic events which occurred last night. The eruption was particularly felt in the rural veredas of Chorrillo, Yunguillo and Pueblo Viejo in Nariño municipality; in El Barranco in La Florida municipality; and in the corregimientos of Genoy, Mapachico, Los Lirios, El Rosal and Chaguayaco in Pasto municipality. From Consacá municipality, the inhabitants reported ashes.

A collapse in telephone service was reported due to 2 antennas falling around the Galeras volcano. The evacuation order was given to 8 thousand inhabitants in the region due to a high threat level, however only 132 evacuated (96 in Pasto shelters, 36 in La Florida and 0 in Nariño municipality shelters). In the census as of today at 09:30 only 12 people remained at the shelters.


- Based on the Level I declaration by INGEOMINAS, measures in accord with the declaration were taken as per the contingency plans.

- CREPAD Nariño department was activated, as well as the CLOPAD of Pasto, La Florida and Nariño municipalities.

- The firefighters and Colombian Red Cross took responsibility for the distribution of potable water supplies for shelters.

- DNAPD was requested to provide food and cleaning kits for the to-be-sheltered population.

- The emergency hospital network was activated and reinforced by the CRUE support system.

- The most recent CREPAD was held January 18th, 2008 at 12:30pm. The Mayors were reminded of the importance of evacuations while Level I persists.


Following publication of the INGEOMINAS Level I report, UNS field offices activated internal emergency mechanisms. The UNDSS Contingency Plan was revised and updated. Coordination was provided between UOS-Pasto and OCHA-Southwest. In addition, PAHO-WHO personnel maintained permanent contacts with OCHA regarding CREPAD evaluations.

In order to maintain monitoring of the emergency situation and to prepare a joint report, the IASC Regional committee was called to order. All personnel are in an emergency situation phase.

MAP - Colombia: Zona de Influencia - Volcán Galeras (al 18 Enero 2008)