Colombia

Volcanic activity in Colombia 12 Nov 2008

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Possible eruption in the coming days or weeks for Volcán Nevado del Huila
Changes in volcanic activity levels for Volcán Galeras and Cerro Machín.

General situation

 According to information reported by INGEOMINAS the following volcanoes are active in Colombia as of 7 November 2008:(see attached table)

To date, Volcán Nevado del Huila is in phase II: eruption probable in matter of days or weeks, while Volcán Galeras and Cerro Machín are in phase III: Changes in volcanic activity level.

On November 7th, the Vulcanological and Seismological Observatory of Popayán reported the change of the volcano to Orange Level (II). The orange level implies: Possible eruption in matter of days or weeks, due to a major increase in seismic activity, a significant increase in movement of magma to the surface has led to constant emission of gas and ash.

INGEOMINAS reported that on November 11th, "the process continued, with energy levels increasing". They recommended that attention be paid to reports on any changes.(1)

Impact

Population in the high risk areas are in Páez- Belalcázar and Inzá municipalities in Cauca department and La Plata, Nátaga, Paicol and Tesalia municipalities in Huila department. Around 10,000 live in this area, mostly in the indigenous reservations of Toes and Wila, of the Páez people. According to INGEOMINAS the main threat is the potential emission of mud flows down the Páez and Simbola rivers, the origins of which are in the volcano and which flow into the Magdalena river.

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