In Colombia, the Nevado del Ruiz volcano is guarded by 25 soldiers at the military base in Cerro Gualí, Caldas, at an altitude of 4,500 meters above sea level. In addition to its military importance, the base is a telecommunications point, and the voice of people communicating throughout the country is relayed from there. However, due to the orange alert issued by the volcano, commerce and tourism are closed, and authorities have evacuated people living within a 15-kilometer radius of the crater. The seller of a small mountain clothing, candy, and coffee shop decided to reopen this week so that people don’t see everything closed, but only those who are repairing the road and some farmers in the area who bring and take potatoes or cattle pass by.
Some residents of the area have left out of fear, but others, like Santiago and Carolina, who care for a farm that produces a thousand liters of milk a day, decided to stay. Although the alert is for ash and rocks, as well as strong tremors they feel, they are not afraid and want to stay in their home. Workers on the farm have a special attachment to the land, but the closure of schools due to the alert has affected children’s education, as not everyone has the connection to receive virtual classes or parents with enough time to help them.
Despite the difficulties, the inhabitants of the area love the volcano and have learned to live with it, although they agree that it has changed and feel that it is more active than usual.
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