Galeras, a 4270-m high andesitic stratovolcano in the southwestern Colombia
border to Ecuador, gradually awakened again in 1988 after more than
40 years of sleep.
Galeras is situated at 1°14'N and 77°'22'W, and its active summit
raises 150 m up from the
80 m deep and 320 m wide caldera, which is open to the west. The present
active crater lies
about 6 km west of Pasto, a city with apprx. 300.000 (400.000?) inhabitants.
There are also
three smaller craters in the caldera. The diameter on the foot of the
volcano is 20 kilometers.
Longterm extensive hydrothermal alteration has affected the volcano.
This has contributed to
large-scale edifice collapse that has occurred on at least three occasions,
avalanches that swept to the W and left a large horseshoe-shaped caldera,
inside which the
modern cone has been constructed. Major explosive eruptions since the
mid Holocene have
produced widespread tephra deposits and pyroclastic flows that have
swept down all but
the southern flanks.
INGEOMINAS reported that low-level activity continued at Galeras
during 4-10 January, with steam rising from the
main crater and two craters to the N and SW (Paisita and Chavas, respectively).
The Alert Level remained at III
December 29th, 2011
INGEOMINAS reported that activity continued at Galeras during 21-27
December, with steam rising from
the main crater and two craters to the N and SW (Paisita and Chavas,
This morning the alert-level was reduced to ORANGE.
Seismic activity went on for about 12 hours after the eruptive at 4
AM local time, but intensity
was redused during the day. However, another seismic event happended
again late afternoon, similar
to the one at 4 AM. Ashfall is reported within 30 km from the crater,
and there are possiblilities
that a new crater has opened up. Up to 3.000 tonns sulfur dioxide up
to 400m above the top was partly
visible duringthe day. Of the 8.000 inhabitants to be evacuated, most
of them refuse to live their homes
so far. Magma is still floating near the opening, and therefore reason
to be prepared for new intensity.
11.23 GMT Colombia's Institute of Mining and Geology (Ingeominas) issued
a red alert warning that a second eruption
of the Galeras volcano is imminent, after it erupted around 4AM Wednesday.
Colombia's Geology and Mining Institute says a burst of gases, ash and
vapour rose from the volcano
at about 4 a.m. (0900 GMT) on Wednesday.
The Colombian Red Cross says 278 people have evacuated from the area
around the volcano.
See our web-camera page (however, Galeras
dropped out this morning)
more to follow
Colombian Minister for the Interior German Vargas Lleras announced Tuesday
that authorities will begin to evacuate
almost 8,000 people who live on the slopes of the Galeras volcano in
Colombia's southern Nariño department,
after the Colombian Institute of Mining and Geology (Ingeominas) issued
a code orange alert level for the volcano.
"Orange means that an erruption is probable in
days or weeks," Vargas Lleras said and urged locals who could be
affected by potential lava flows to "urgently" move to temporary
lodging provided by the state in the municipalities
of Pasto, La Florida and Nariño.ood and health services."
Ingeominas raised the alert to orange after a tremor
measuring 4.6 on the Richter scale was registered close to Galeras'
summit, as well as almost 400 tremors of varying intensity. Galeras
last erupted in January. The eruption did not cause
any deaths or injuries, but lava flows running down the sides of the
volcano caused forest fires.
In 2009, the volcano, considered the most active in Colombia, erupted
three times. In January this year some parts
of the forest on the volcanic mountain had caught fire because of lava
flowing from the volcano's mouth
January 19th, 2008
The activity of the volcano changes. Alertlevel now set to : Level II
(YELLOW) eruption likely within days or weeks)
During the last day, the seismic activity of the volcano
has been declining steadily in terms of occurrence and energy,
which is associated with a gradual degassing process that usually occur
after an eruptive explosion as ofJanuary 17th.
January 19th, 2008
Despite the continuing activity and abrupt eruptions of the volcano,
the residents say they are not going to the shelters because nothing
ever going to happen.
At the time of the explosion last Thursday , people in the municipality
of Nariño did not enter into panic, despite the
wave of the explosion was felt very strongly. During the evening the
top of the mountain was covered in clouds, in the municipality of Nariño
fog covered all, and no one could observe the eruption of pyroclasts
and ash generated by the
There was a collapse in the media, all radiochannels were blocked, there
was no contact by phone.
More seriously, in times like these, is that the population had only
one thing in mind "I do not believe that anything will happen".
That was why everyone with few exceptions, refused to leave their homes,
farms or plots to go to the shelters
built for their safety.
With the arrival of daylight, in the early hours of
Friday, the inhabitants of Nariño again had a normal day.
. Comments on what happened become part of the routine of the talks
, with a "nothing will happen",
as if they were in possession of all the secrets of the nature.
See our story: Why do people live on volcanoes?
January 18th, 2008
20.06.03 local time
20.06.25 Foto:INGOMINAS 20.06.36
There was an explosian at Galeras yesterday night, local
time. The Alertlevel is now on RED which means that an
eruption is most likely to occur any time. The occurence of these events
also preceeded the eruptions of 1991, 1992
and 1993, as well as some of the eruptive episodes in 2004 and 2006.
So far no evacuation has been recommended, but
people are being told what to do if the situation is getting more serious.
For a while there was an atmosphere of panic among the inhabitants of
the urban area and el Panorámico, San Vicente, Anganoy and Colónin.
. People came out of their houses and remained on the streets until
late at night in fear of a new explosion.
The emergency agencies, which are part of the local and regional committees
met last night in the Nariño to manage the evacuation of the
inhabitants of the high-risk zone, that is in
Genoy and Mapachico in Pasto and the urban and rural municipalities
in Nariño and Florida.
Wednesday, May 25th, 2005
The Colombian government on Tuesday ordered the evacuation of
9,000 people living on
the slopes of the Galeras volcano near the border with Ecuador
which scientists say could
The government will pay evacuees about $40 a month to help with
accommodation. But some peasants have told local television they
do not believe the
warnings and will refuse to leave their smallholdings.
There was a minor eruption in Galeras in November, with little
effect on surrounding
populations. In 1993, another small eruption killed 10 scientists
who had climbed up to its
Particularly in the last days the seismic activity has presented/displayed
a diminution in power
level, being located in intermediate levels of depth (between
2 and 4 km.) concentrated in the
active cone, within a radius of 1 km of distance. Most of the
registered events corresponds to
small earthquakes associated with fracturamiento of solid material
to the interior of the
volcanic system. The increase in the occurrence of earthquakes
of fracture registered between
the night of Saturday (May 21) and the dawn of Sunday stands out
Low gas discharges of the active cone of the Galeras. When comparing
of made sobreflights days 17 and 20 of May in relation to carried
out the days 29 of April
and 2 of May, note at the present time a slight increase in the
amount of emitted gases.
Ash emissions have not appeared.
Monday, November 22nd, 2004
16:00 GMT/UTC, Latest from INGEOMINAS:
exactly clear springwater coming down from
Galeras at present.
After the eruptivo event of the day of yesterday, Galeras has come showing
as much in the levels from occurrence like in the energy of the seismic
from the 10:00 p.m. of yesterday Sunday and until the moment of this
report, the seismic
activity is low and it has stayed stable. In agreement with the instrumental
registries of the
monitoreo network, it is considered that in these last hours, the processes
of gas discharge
and ashes in Galeras are small. The predominant direction of the wind
at this moment continues
towards the NE sector of the volcano. The climatologic conditions in
the region have prevented
direct observations of the activity on the surface.
12:00 GMT/UTC, Latest from INGEOMINAS:
The eruption yesterday were felt and heard in several of the populations
in the zone influenced
by Galeras, as well as in more distant localities like Cimarrones (18
km to the north),
Chachagui (17 km to the north), Laguna de la Cocha (20 km to the SE).
The effects of the shock wave varied from roar, vibration of large windows
(sector of the
Valle de Atríz en Pasto) and some people confused it with a seismic
INSTITUTO COLOMBIANO DE GEOLOGIA Y MINERIA INGEOMINAS
View video in Windows Media here: video
Galeras has yesterday been hurling rocks for a distance
of two miles and blanketing
the ground with ash,but causing no injuries, the countrys Institute
of Geology and
Mines said. The eruption alsosent a column of smoke high into the Andean
The mid-afternoon eruption was felt 12 miles away, according to INGEOMINAS.
The Galeras volcano erupted explosively, producing a ballistic expulsion
of rocks in an
eastward direction reaching about three kilometers (1.8 miles). The
column of material
belched out in the eruption rose nine to 6.2 miles into the air, the
Also, the rocks that fell to three kilometers of the crater, gave rise
to small fires that did not
prosper because the vegetation was humid. From last July the Galeras
has expelled about
700 thousand cubic meters of ashes (850 thousand tons), that have affected
domestic sources of water and animals in 23 kilometers distances from
Monday, September 13th, 2004
The local authorities informed that the emission of steam and gases
continues but in amounts
very reduced. That has lowered to the fear and the expectations amongst
the inhabitants of
the region. However, the Galeras volcano, continuous emitting ash, causing
damage in the
aqueducts of several near municipalities in Nariño and have also
contaminated waters of the
Cumbal river that supplies the region.
Sunday, September 12th, 2004
In the public offices of Pasto they recommended their secretaries to
go to work with informal
clothes and without high heels. This is part of the prevention plans
before the activity of
Also it is advised that each dependency makes evacuation maneuverses
and that their civil
employees carry a physiological serum bottle and something whereupon
to cover mouth
and nose. This, in case rain containing ash arrives after an eruption.
The authorities request
not to believe in rumors and to rely solely on the official official
notices that come through
the local radio stations.
The recommendations were given after changes registered in the volcano,
nobody is in capacity to predict.
People are supplying themselves with batteries, lanterns, radios, containers
to store water
and tape rolls to mask. Also of food like rice, sugar, fat oils and
According to an inhabitant of Florida, where the firemen of Pasto yesterday
because the aqueduct was filled by ash and closed , after the eruptions
of 11 and 12 of August:
"the Government promised to us to send tanks to us of storage for
the water and said that five
cars cistern had been arranged to arrive, but nothing has arrived".
Saturday, September 11th, 2004
Several Colombian Newspapers report today that the Volcanic Institute
has warned the population of an immideate danger of eruption at Galeras.
The danger-zone is now 6 kilometers wide around the center of the volcano,
case of a violent eruption, small villages with a total of 60.000 inhabitants
will be in that area.
Including Pasto, another 400.000 inhabitants live near the volcano.
showing the Galeras-volcano as a light green area in center of the picture.
The city of Pasto, with 300.000 inhabitants is the red area in the center
at the bottom,
just 8 kilometers from the volcano.
August 19th, 2004
that volcanic and seismic activity increased at Galeras on 11 August
at 23:49 when an eruption began that sent an ash-and-gas cloud to an
unknown height and
generated visible incandescence. (See picture below). Later in the day,
a thin plume at a height
of ~7.3 km a.s.l drifted SW into northern Ecuador. A plume also drifted
NW at a height of
~6.1 km a.s.l. By 13:15 ash was no longer visible on satellite imagery.
Fine ash was deposited in villages near the volcano including, La Florida
(~10 km NW of the
volcano), Nariño, Sandoná, and Consacá, and farther
afield in Ancuya, Linares, and
Sotomayor (~ 40 km NW of the volcano).
News articles reported that ~230 families were evacuated mainly from
the volcano's N flank.
Ash contaminated potable water in some villages, impacted farm animal's
health, and left
hundreds of dead fish floating in rivers. The village of La Florida
was most strongly impacted
by the eruption. On 16 August, ash emissions continued, depositing ash
in several villages.
A thin plume was visible on satellite imagery extending ~75 km NW.
The inhabitants in the area sorrounding the volcano have for a long
time used mask to prevent
themself breathing particles of ash.
Incandescent material has been flowing down the slopes of
the volcano and set fire to the vegetation and the crops,
and domestic and wild animal suffers.
A map has been prepared for the inhabitants of Pasto, showing riskzones
routes in case of a larger eruption.
On August 18th it has been reported that the eruption continues. At
02:06 local time a tremor
of 5.3 Richters scale was registered.
Credit: Smithsonian Institute, GVP and others
A volcanic eruption from Galeras volcano in southwestern Colombia as
seen in early morning
of August 10, 2004. The plume of ash and steam was seen moving NW at
20 knots between up
to an estimated height of 18.000 ft above sea level.
18 hours later:
ASH MOVED TO THE NW TOWARD THE COAST AND DISSIPATED
BY 16Z. CURRENTLY
THERE ARE NO INDICATIONS OF ASH/STEAM BEING EMMITTED FROM THE
SUMMIT. WILL CONTINUE TO MONITOR