On the evening of the 13th of November 1985, volcano Nevado del Ruiz erupted and sent an avalanche of ashes and mud towards the town of Armero, more than 45 km away. Within a short time, the town was buried in meters deep mud, which took the people by surprise since they had been reassured by authorities earlier the same day that there was nothing to worry about. 23 000 people were killed, more than two thirds of the town's population. Today, the road from Mariquita goes through the ghost town, where the surviving houses still stand half covered in dirt in the shade of big trees. There are tombstones everywhere and part of the town church is half preserved. Besides the handful of DVD vendors along the road (they sell a documentary about the catastrophe), the place is completely deserted and a grim memorial of a recent tragedy.