Despite warnings from geologists, the Colombian authorities were unprepared for the eruption of Nevado del Ruiz
volcano and the accompanying mudflows, which swept down the Longonillas valley, engulfing the town of Armero.
The international aid effort was led by the USA but the rescue community was partly wrong-footed by an almost simultaneous earthquake in Mexico. The government of Colombia was strongly criticised for its slow and inadequate response. The UK committed a C-130 to transport relief supplies and sent two Puma HC.1 from 1563 Flt in Belize, for a short period.