Volcano eruption prompts yellow alert in SE Colombia

15:59, April 15, 2010      

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Ashes, smoke and seismic activity prompted local authorities and auxiliary forces of four municipalities to issue a yellow alert for the area around the revived Nevado del Huila volcano, 285 km southwest of Bogota, Wednesday afternoon.

According to the Colombian Institute of Geology and Mining, a total of 1,216 seismic events have occurred inside the volcano in the last hours. Simultaneously, there were spasmodic tremors that could be related to the constant ash emissions.

Given this situation, the aid and auxiliary patrols have been ordered to stay on yellow alert in four southeast municipalities near the volcano. The four towns, Paicol, La Plata, Nataga and Tesalia, are located in the most dangerous area near the Ceibas del Huila river, along with the Caucan municipalities of Belalcazar and Inza.

With a height of 5,750 meters above the sea level, the Nevado del Huila volcano is the highest peak in the Central Range of the Andes in Colombia. It is also the second highest mountain in the country after the twin peaks Cristobal Colon and Simon Bolivar (5,775 meters) in the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta.

The volcano is located in the Central Range alongside the territory of Huila, Tolima and Cauca provinces. Currently, the Nevado del Huila volcano has the biggest glacial cap in Colombia with an area of over 13 sq km, exceeding the Nevado del Ruiz volcano, which is covered by a glacier of 8 sq km in area.



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