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Weather Alert: U.S. Embassy Bogota – Heightened Volcanic Activity and Restricted U.S. Government Travel (April
April 4, 2023

Location: Tolima, Caldas, Risaralda, Quindio, and Cundinamarca Departments  

Event:  Given the heightened risk of a volcanic eruption of Nevado del Ruiz, out of an abundance of caution the U.S. Embassy is restricting personal travel for U.S. government employees to zones identified by the Colombian Geological Service (Servicio Geologico Colombiano, SGC) in the linked map.  This includes the cities of Armenia, Filandia, Ibague, Manizales, Salento, and Pereira. The map is found at https://www2.sgc.gov.co/sgc/volcanes/VolcanNevadoRuiz/Paginas/Mapa-amenaza.aspx.  

U.S. government employees in Colombia are restricted from personal travel to the following areas indicated on the linked map: Zona de Amenaza Alta (red), Zona de Amenaza Media (orange), Zona de Amenaza Baja (yellow), and Amenaza Media Proyectada (dotted orange line). 

Colombia’s Geological Services and the National Unit for Disaster Risk Management (Unidad Nacional para la Gestion del Riesgo de Desastres, UNGRD) issued a warning about the change in volcanic activity of Volcan Nevado del Ruiz on March 31, indicating that a major eruption is likely in the upcoming days to weeks.    

The current alert level is 2-orange (on a scale of 4 to 1 and green to red, with level 1-red indicative of an active eruption).  UNGRD has advised local government authorities to prepare and update evacuation plans and alert systems.    

Additionally, the Colombian Government has ordered that Parque Nacional Natural Los Nevados be closed and the following departments placed on alert: Tolima, Caldas, Risaralda, Quindio, and Cundinamarca.  More information can be found on the following websites: https://www.sgc.gov.co/ and https://portal.gestiondelriesgo.gov.co/ 

Nevado del Ruiz is one of the 25 active and monitored volcanoes in Colombia.  In 1985, the eruption of Volcan Nevado del Ruiz ended in tragedy, killing 25,000 people.   

In the event of an eruption, volcanic ash may impact flight availability and airport operations.   

Actions to Take:   

Avoid the area.