The volcano on the verge of erupting, the Nevado del Ruiz, is one of the highest peaks in Colombia and has various farming villages and inhabitants surrounding it, leading officials to declare a state of emergency and offering evacuation plans to locals.
A volcano eruption is imminent in Colombia. The local citizen living in the towns and villages surrounding the Nevado del Ruiz volcano has to make a difficult choice; either stay in their homes and be caught in a devesting act of nature or leave their homes and livelihood, possibly permanently.
The volcano on the verge of erupting, the Nevado del Ruiz, is one of the highest peaks in Colombia and has various farming villages and inhabitants surrounding it. Its last eruption in 1985 claimed thousands of lives, which everyone hopes will never be repeated.
Since March, the area has been monitored for signs that a volcano eruption is imminent, but nothing has happened yet. Any areas that are situated around the angry volcano have been asked to evacuate as a safety precaution as Colombian authorities declare this incident a state of emergency. All students living near the volcano have returned to learning from home, just like in the pandemic, and many local stores are selling emergency kits.
The President of Colombia offered voluntary evacuation to over 2,000 families close to the volcano, but many refused to leave. They stated they do not want to leave their homes and livelihoods so much that they will take the chance if the volcano eruption happens. At the moment, it is unclear how many families have actually vacated the dangerous area; some local law enforcement thinks the number could be as low as 87 people.
This mountain is located in central Colombia between Tolima and Caldas. It contains perfect soil for local farmers to grow produce and keep a range of animals, such as cattle. Many farmers do not want to leave the area as they would be leaving their cattle behind them, and it would almost certainly mean death for the animals and no livelihood for the farmers.
To help the voluntary evacuation, the Colombian government is organising the evacuation of over a quarter of the region’s cattle. Many farmers had terrible experiences with previous evacuations, as when they returned to their homes, the cattle and produce were stolen while they were not there.
The volcano eruptions from this mountain can be quite destructive, as usually, when it is dormant; the volcano is snow-capped. So when it does heat up and lava forms, the snow melts, causing terrible floods and mudslides, which the locals call lahars.
The last volcano eruption from the Nevado del Ruiz in 1985 killed over 23,000 people in an instant. In Colombia, this is called the Armero Tragedy, where not only lava but mud rocks and flooding occur in a wealth of natural disasters. Anyone in the vicinity of the mountain did not stand a chance.
Even though many residents remember that day’s devastation, they still refuse to evacuate. Even though it is regularly monitored, it is hard to know when the volcano will actually erupt, but there is a lot of activity at the moment that would tell experts that a volcano eruption is very close. Let’s hope no one is hurt this time around.