Nevado Del Ruiz Volcanic Case Study

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  • Created by: Megan
  • Created on: 25-02-14 11:10

Location and Volcano Detail

Location:- Nevado Del Ruiz is located in Colombia, South Ameria, on the South American-Nazcan Plate Boudary. More specifically, it is a part of the Tomila-Ruiz Massif (a mountain range in the Andes which consists of multiple volcanoes). It lies within the Pacific Ring of Fire

Margin Type: - Destructive (Nazcan subducted beneath the South American)

Type of Volcano:- Composite (consists of andesitic lava)

Hazards caused in the surrounding Area:- Ash Cloud, Lava and 4 large Lahar flows

Main Area Affected: The town of Armero, located at the foot of the volcano on an alluvial fan and has a history of mud/landslides damaging the town.

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  • 23,000 people were killed (75% of the population of the town) primarily by the 8m high lahar that hit the town
  • 3400ha of agricultural land was destroyed - also left survivors in poverty
  • Roads and communications were destroyed
  • Almost all of the housing was destroyed
  • 50schools, 2 hospital and over 400 industrial and commercial buldings were utterly destroyed
  • contaminated water supply
  • $7.7billion in damages
  • ash caused an immediate cooling in the area but in the long term will contributely hugely to climate change
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Monitering and Preparation

The scientists and seismologists in the area were monitering the volcano but were slow to instruct the local authorities who then ignored the advice they were given

A hazard zoning map which illustrated th threat to the area, was dismissed by the government

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Response to the Event

An initial evacuation after the first small eruption was abandoned and residents encouraged to stay indoors to avoid the ash cloud - this meant people were crushed and trapped by buildings when the lahar hit the town.

The evacuation during the event was very limited - there was confusion as to where to go

The Colombian Red Cross and Civil Defence organised the medical and rescue efforts

The military did airlift rescues and set up supply centres and shelters for those survivors

President asked the international community fo aid - $2million was sent along with mobile hospitals, doctors, engineers, tents and blankets for 20,000 were all sent to the region

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New Strategies

Warning and evacuation systems have been developed - evacuation routes have been mapped out

Armero has been moved 25km south of its original position

There has been a public campaign in the area to educate the public in order to prevent this happening again

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