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New eruption at Galeras 20 February 2009

Posted by admin in activity reports, Colombia, eruptions, Galeras.
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A new explosive eruption is being reported at Galeras volcano in Colombia, and INGEOMINAS has raised the alert level to Red (I), the highest level. The eruption took place at 07:05 local time (12:05 GMT). The latest bulletin from the Pasto observatory, issued at 07:10 today, is short and to the point:

The Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Pasto reports that on 20 February 2009 at 7:05am a new eruption of explosive character was recorded.

Therefore, the current level of activity at the volcano is changed to Red (I) (eruption imminent or under way).

In the news, Semana reports that areas of western Pasto and adjoining rural districts are threatened by the eruption, and that the authorities have begun evacuating people from those localities to the shelters. An AFP report quotes Luz Amanda Pulido, director of the government emergencies office, as confirming that ‘there is no official report of the loss of human lives’; she also says that rockfalls and ashfall have been reported in the area, that the emergency services have been deployed, and (rather pointedly) that the red alert means evacuations. Last week, the evacuation order was not heeded, and Ms Pulido clearly wants people to take it seriously this time. Antonio Navarro Wolf, governor of Nariño province, is quoted in El Universal as saying that the eruption today was a lesser event than that of last Saturday, although it is not clear what his evidence is for this. The governor also asked the local population to attend to the alert and co-operate with the evacuation order.

For all our Galeras coverage: Galeras « The Volcanism Blog.

Alerta roja por erupción del volcán GalerasSemana, 20 February 2009
Nueva erupción del volcán Galeras en frontera de Colombia y Ecuador – AFP, 20 February 2009
Alerta por nueva erupción del Volcán Galeras, la segunda en menos de una semanaEl Universal, 20 February 2009
South Colombia volcano erupts again – Colombia Reports, 20 February 2009

Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program – summary information for Galeras (1501-08=)
Portal Corporativo de INGEOMINAS – Instituto Colombiano de Geología y Minería
Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Pasto – Pasto volcanological observatory main page

The Volcanism Blog