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USGS CMG InfoBank: Introduction to Mass Wasting

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Comment: 00:40 - 02:02 (01:22)
Source: Annenberg/CPB Resources - Earth Revealed - 16. Mass Wasting
Keywords: introduction, "Nevado Del Ruiz Volcano", Colombia, "South America", eruption, heat, melting, glacier, volcano, water, flood, mountain, soil, tree, boulder, Armero, mud, "geologic hazard"

Our transcription: The date is November 13, 1985.
At 9:08 that night, the Nevado Del Ruiz Volcano in Colombia, South America erupts.
The intensity of the heat melts the glacier atop the volcano sending a torrent of water rushing down the mountain.
Soil, trees, and boulders are ripped from the ground.
The mass of debris picks up speed bearing down on the nearby town of Armero at 30 miles per hour.
Then, shortly before midnight the unsuspecting residents are awakened by the roar of a wall of mud about to bury anything in its path.
By morning the desperate panic and confusion of the night had given way to the chilling reality of just what has happened.
Of the 25,000 who lived here when the day began, only 3,000 remained alive.
In a matter of seconds, the proud community of Armero has been wiped from the face of the Earth.

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