Colombian Volcano Erupts: Two Airports Close
COLOMBIA - Ash showered the skies in central Colombia last weekend, reaching as much as a mile high.
In a series of eruptions from about 2:00 a.m. to almost 6:00 a.m. EDT Sunday, May 22nd, Colombia’s Nevado del Ruiz effectively shut down two airports in the region.
The volcano is about 80 miles west of the capital city Bogota in central Colombia. The New York Times reports that the first eruption, just after 2 a.m., prompted the closure of the La Nubia airport in Manizales, capital of Caldas state. A few hours later, a similar, but stronger eruption forced a regional airport in western Colombia to close down.
The first emission of ash hit over 4,000 feet above the the peak, according to El Colombiano. The second shot even higher, over 7,500 feet.
Nevado del Ruiz has been under close observation by experts and seismologists since 1985, when it caused one of the country’s biggest natural tragedies. The previous eruption triggered an avalanche that wound up in the loss of almost 30,000 people.
Erring on the side of caution, the Colombian Geological Service notified the public that it is closely assessing the situation, and will continue to monitor and report any changes to the volcano’s activity.
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