Nevado Del Ruiz Volcano Case Study

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LEDC VOLCANO CASE STUDY
Nevado Del Ruiz, 1985
Background Information:
Located in Columbia, in the Andes Mountain range ­ Pacific Ring of Fire
5400m high with 30m ice cap on top
Destructive plate boundary (Nazca and South American Plates)
Stratovolcano active for 2 million years
Gives off a Plinean eruption
Hadn't erupted for 100 years leading to pressure building up in the mantle
An eruption caused the ice cap on top to melt, creating a flow of lahars and pyroclastic flows
Almero (town at the base) was covered in lahars ­ this was partly due to it being located in a
valley (as it made it easier for construction)
The volcano did give warning signals of earthquakes and small eruptions but the
governments named the scientists as `alarmists' so no one moved
Effects:
50 schools were destroyed
2 hospitals were destroyed
58 industrial plants were destroyed
343 commercial establishments were destroyed
22,000 people (70% of Almero's population) died
Lahars 40m thick travelling at 50km/hr enveloped Almero
34,000 hectares of agricultural land was lost
Infrastructure and communication lines were destroyed
Mudflows were triggered, scattering victims
Many were left stranded by roads being blocked off by mud
Damaged water systems left safe water scarce
This then triggered alarms of guerrilla groups attacking emergency operations
It cost 20% of the country's GDP ($7.7bn)
Responses:
Columbian Red Cross and Civil
Defence were the first to provide
medical and rescue operations in
Almero
Government provided
helicopters/distributed
supplies/establishing field medical
care and shelter facilities.
The government requested for
international aid

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LEDC VOLCANO CASE STUDY
The International Disaster Relief Community and 30 foreign countries
provided assistance
Public education campaign on how to protect yourself from volcanic activity was introduced
in 1986
Education in schools of volcanic hazards and evacuation training
Red Cross circulated thousands of flyers to help people prepare
Hazards maps were distributed in towns
Evacuation route markers were painted…read more

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