FTLComm - Colima Mexico - November 20. 1998
Wednesday night all of the people around the base of Colima's smoking volcano (five kilometre radius) had to leave their homes and villages as smoke and ash poured from the mountain's crater. This unpredictable volcano last vented only four years ago but has continued to be active throughout recorded history. The city of Colima which has over 100,000 residence has been placed on alert as they are within the thirty kilometre area that would be within the next level of danger. Colima itself is actually constructed on the remains of one of the many land slides that have covered the area around the base of the mountain. Guadalajara, Mexico's second largest city, is only fifty kilometres away and it is in a danger zone as in the past it has suffered considerable damage from falling ash.
The Colima volcano is capable of such a wide range of negative nasty tricks that volcano experts predict any or all of the list of bad things a volcano can deliver. The worst case scenario would be an unexpected explosive event of the sort Mount St. Helen's, Washington, performed in 1980 but the Colima mountain has been able to do some other dirty deeds including massive earthquakes that are accompanied by huge land slides that sweep outward from the mountain over thirty kilometres. It also has in the past triggered a combined sludge and water event that clogs up rivers and produces massive disruptions of life of all kinds in the area, several cities are actually built in former mud slide river beds in the mountain's immediate area. The lowest level of danger is actually the flow of molten rock from the mountain's crater. Though this has happened many times in the past the flow rate is slow and more damage is done by the ash created during such episodes.
Jennifer Shire, our college student who has been passing on her adventures in Mexico reported that the people of the University city of Colima are to prepare for immediate evacuation. She reported that the ash was falling on the city and evacuees from the densely populated area around the mountain's base are already being moved .
For details about the nature of the volcano itself, its history and possible dangers look over Jennifer's articles on her climb of the neighbouring snow mountain which itself is a presently dormant volcanic mountain. If you click on any of the pictures in the article that will take you to various authoritative articles and information about the site.