‘Hidden’ volcano found in Caldas

By bogotapost March 6, 2015
El Escondido volcano Colombia

A panoramic view of El Escondido, the municipality of Florencia can be seen on the left. Photo: www.sgc.gov.co

Though dormant for 30,000 years, newly discovered volcano ‘potentially dangerous’, researchers say

Scientists with the Colombian Geological Survey have found a previously unknown volcano. The volcano was so well-hidden in the surrounding mountains that it wasn’t discovered until recently, local media reported.

Dubbed ‘The Hidden One’ because of its camouflaged position and physical characteristics, the volcano is located in Caldas, and stands 1,700 metres above sea level.

It is potentially active and dangerous because it erupted as recently as 30,000 years ago, which in volcano years is the blink of an eye.

“The evidence shows that this volcano is potentially dangerous, for example, because of the extent of rock deposits that are larger than the Machin volcano, the most explosive in the country,” geologist John Macario told El Tiempo last week.

“It is beyond the axis of the ridge, has periods of rest, and as a result it looks like a common and wild mountain with lots of vegetation,” said the director of the Volcanological and Seismological Observatory of Manizales, Gloria Patricia Cortez.

The location of the volcano has caused concern, as villages and population centres dot the area around its base, but there are currently no signs it is about to come back to life.

By Steven Grattan