Evacuations continue at Huila

\n\n

The Colombian government has extended the evacuations near Nevado del Huila, taking 800 families out of the danger zone near the rumbling volcano. Huila has been making a lot of noise as of late, and Colombian officials in Ingeominas and the National System for Emergencies are worried that the volcano will erupt soon, sending avalanches and lahars down the valleys of the Paez and Simbola Rivers as happened in November of 2008 (see above or the link to the Volcanism Blog). They also note that Ingeominas is installing microphones on the volcano to detect explosions in the crater to better predict potential lahars.


\n\nHowever, this report is almost dangerously erroneous. The report notes:\n
The volcano's crater holds 52 million cubic meters (1.8 billion cubic feet) of lava, said Colombia's Caracol Radio. That's the equivalent of 13.8 billion gallons.
\nNow, this might be the case that the crater might be able to hold a volume of 52 million cubic meters of something - lava, water, Jell-O, caviar - but by no means is the crater at Huila currently holding 52 million cubic meters of liquid, bubbling lava. Maybe that volume of solidified lava in dome material, but clearly not molten lava. It is this kind of incorrect information that can cause undue panic and hysteria in the public and press.
Related Articles

Scientists discover what caused the worst mass extinction ever

How a cataclysm worse than what killed the dinosaurs destroyed 90 percent of all life on Earth.

Credit: Ron Miller
Surprising Science

While the demise of the dinosaurs gets more attention as far as mass extinctions go, an even more disastrous event called "the Great Dying” or the “End-Permian Extinction” happened on Earth prior to that. Now scientists discovered how this cataclysm, which took place about 250 million years ago, managed to kill off more than 90 percent of all life on the planet.

Keep reading Show less

Why we're so self-critical of ourselves after meeting someone new

A new study discovers the “liking gap” — the difference between how we view others we’re meeting for the first time, and the way we think they’re seeing us.

New acquaintances probably like you more than you think. (Photo by Simone Joyner/Getty Images)
Surprising Science

We tend to be defensive socially. When we meet new people, we’re often concerned with how we’re coming off. Our anxiety causes us to be so concerned with the impression we’re creating that we fail to notice that the same is true of the other person as well. A new study led by Erica J. Boothby, published on September 5 in Psychological Science, reveals how people tend to like us more in first encounters than we’d ever suspect.

Keep reading Show less

NASA launches ICESat-2 into orbit to track ice changes in Antarctica and Greenland

Using advanced laser technology, scientists at NASA will track global changes in ice with greater accuracy.

Firing three pairs of laser beams 10,000 times per second, the ICESat-2 satellite will measure how long it takes for faint reflections to bounce back from ground and sea ice, allowing scientists to measure the thickness, elevation and extent of global ice
popular

Leaving from Vandenberg Air Force base in California this coming Saturday, at 8:46 a.m. ET, the Ice, Cloud, and Land Elevation Satellite-2 — or, the "ICESat-2" — is perched atop a United Launch Alliance Delta II rocket, and when it assumes its orbit, it will study ice layers at Earth's poles, using its only payload, the Advance Topographic Laser Altimeter System (ATLAS).

Keep reading Show less