Galeras forceful eruption prompts evacuation
Galeras, a stratovolcano, located near the regional capital city of Pasto in southwest Colombia and close to the border with Ecuador, erupted again on Saturday, prompting the authorities to issue a “red alert” for the area. An evacuation order was issued for about 8,000 people who live in the vicinity of the volcano.
Galeras, seen from the city of Pasto. Credit: Henry Ernesto Escobar Meneses
The Colombia Institute for Geology and Mines said the blast occurred at about 12:10 UTC Sunday. No fatalities or injuries were reported.
According to the local government “large amount of ash” was falling on Pasto.
The 4,270-meter volcano has been an active volcano for about a million years and is considered the most active volcano in Colombia. In 1991 it was designated a Decade Volcano due to its proximity to the city of Pasto.
Galeras is seen here from the south on March 17, 1989, with steam clouds pouring from vents on the large central cone near the back headwall of the caldera, whose south rim forms the ridge in the foreground. Major explosive eruptions since the mid Holocene have produced widespread tephra deposits and pyroclastic flows that swept all but the southern flanks. Photo by Norm Banks (U.S. Geological Survey). Caption: GVP.
On January 14, 1993, during a Decade Volcano conference in Pasto, a group of unfortunate scientists launched an impromptu expedition to the volcano’s crater. Shortly after their arrival, Galeras erupted killing six scientists and three others.
In the 20th century Galeras underwent several episodes of unrest including those in December of 1923, October of 1924, October of 1932, February of 1936, July of 1947, January of 1950, February 1974, February of 1989, January of 1990, January of 1993, March of 2000, June of 2002, July of 2004, November of 2005, October of 2007, and several episodes in 2008 and 2009.
UPDATE: February 20, 2009
Authorities in the south of Colombia are on high alert after the Galeras volcano Friday erupted again. Colombia Reports. Image may be subject to copyright.
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