12 November 2008Posted by volcanism in Colombia, Machín, activity reports.
The alert level at Colombia’s Cerro Machín volcano remains at a cautious level III, yellow (where level I, red, is the highest), but INGEOMINAS Observatorio Vulcanológico y Sismológico de Manizales reports ‘normality’ in the volcano’s activity and a decrease in seismicity in its latest bulletin (dated 11 November 2008):
During 8, 9 and 10 November the volcano Cerro Machín registered a seismic event within which 1210 volcano-tectonic earthquakes were recorded (associated with the fracturing of rock in the interior of the volcano), 9 of which were with magnitudes greater than 2.5, several being heard by the inhabitants of Cajamarca, Ibagué, Calarcá and Armenia, among others.
The inclinometers located around the volcano showed significant changes, associated with the principal event of 9 November at 03:01.
On 9 November an INGEOMINAS commission went to the volcano Machín with the aim of evaluating conditions at the volcano. The report submitted is of complete normality in the activity of the volcano, the cracking of some houses and landslides caused by seismic movement, associated with ground conditions of high humidity.
From 10:00 yesterday, Monday 10 November, the seismic activity of the volcano decreased notably and at the time of publication of this communication the levels of seismic activity are low.
The tremors and ashfall of Sunday and Monday produced great alarm among local populations but also, reports La Patria, ’strengthened the solidarity of the community’. Some 500 people from farming communities around Cerro Machín who fled their homes are being accommodated in Ibagué, in a relief operation co-ordinated by the Red Cross. Local residents are helping to provide food and other supplies for the refugees. The recent activity from Machín and Nevado del Huila volcanoes, writes El País, ‘holds half the country in suspense’. Perhaps it will raise awareness of the potential dangers posed by Colombia’s volcanoes, which may well be needed: last week, reports El Tiempo, INGEOMINAS held a community emergency training event for the residents of areas around Machín, ‘but no-one attended’.