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Colombian volcano update: Huila and the anniversary of the Armero lahar

There are a lot of signs of an impending eruption at Nevado del Huila in Colombia and we are approaching the 24th anniversary of one of the worst volcano disasters of the 20th century.

There has been news over the last few days of a number of volcanoes in Colombia, so I thought I’d try to gather it up here:


nThe steaming summit of Nevado del Huila in Colombia


  • Nevado del Huila has been ramping up its ash emissions, potentially pointing towards new eruptions from the crater dome. The NASA Earth Observatory posted a new image of the grey ash plume from the volcano poking its way up through the clouds. This plume made it all the way to ~11 km / 36,000 feet, so it definitely isn’t insignificant. This comes after an increase in seismicity (up to 1,000 earthquakes in the last week) at the volcano over the past few weeks, suggesting that new magma might be making its way up the conduit. Currently, INGEOMINAS has the alert status at Huila at Orange/II (eruption in days to weeks) according to the Volcano Observatory in Popayan. The current sulfur dioxide flux is up to ~7,400 tonnes/day and a number of explosions have also been registered on the seismometers. You can check out the webcam for the volcano here to see the latest (and the Volcanism Blog has some nice webcam captures of the recent activity.
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  • There is also a brief article on Hawaii 24/7 by the one of the geologists at HVO on what we’re learned from the Nevado del Ruiz lahar in 1985 that killed ~25,000 people in Armero (and the nearby area). It is a nice summary of the events and consequences for those of you unfamiliar with the tragedy that occurred 24 years ago this November 13th.


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