The Villarrica Volcano in Chile has erupted. The volcano located near Santiago, Chile erupted early morning on Tuesday around 3:00 A.M., local time. The volcano sent lava and ash spewing into the sky and nearby residents were forced to evacuate.
According to The Huffington Post, around 3,500 people were evacuated after the National Emergency Office issued a red alert. Authorities were worried of lava and ash spewing from the volcano, yes, but were more worried of mudslides and overflowing rivers happening since ice on the volcano could melt into rivers.
As one of Chile’s most active volcanoes, the Villarrica Volcano is about 9,000 ft. above sea level and located about 400 miles south of Santiago. Even so, it is located near a small city called Pucon which has around 22,000 residents, according to the New York Post.
Authorities had originally issued an orange alert on Monday after increased seismic activity occurred. In fact, Guardian Liberty Voice reported on numerous upticks in earthquakes which had occurred in February and just yesterday.
The Villarrica Volcano in Chile has erupted and thousands of people on Twitter showcased numerous photos displaying the eruption. The volcano can be seen shooting lava into the night sky, along with ash and even some lightning.
Chile is home to around 2,000 volcanoes with about 90 of them still being active. Chile also sits along the coast of South America near various subduction zone areas, increasing the likeliness of strong earthquakes. In fact, a megaquake measuring around 8.8 in magnitude occurred in 2010, while Chile also holds the record for one of the strongest earthquakes to take place, which had measured 9.2 in magnitude back in 1960.
Chile’s President, Michelle Bachelet, had said she planned to visit the area surrounding the volcano to make sure safety preparations are in place and evacuations are in order. According to the New York Post, there may be four communities which may be affected by the eruption.
The Huffington Post indicated areas near Villarrica attract tourists as well with such activities as horseback riding, kayaking, fishing, and hiking. Dozens of tourists were reportedly evacuated too. Villarrica had last erupted in 1984, according to The Huffington Post.
A tweet sent from Humanity Road, an online disaster response team indicated the area near Villarrica is still on red alert, although authorities may be in the process of issuing a yellow one. Still, authorities worry of the possibility of nearby mudslides and overflowing rivers.
Just last month, earthquakes measuring around 5.0 to 5.9 in magnitude took place near Santiago, Chile. The country had also experienced a 6.9 earthquake near their border shared with Argentina and Bolivia. In fact, three earthquakes measuring 4.5 and 5.1 had hit the area prior to the rather large earthquake taking place.
Chile is known to have various bouts of seismic activity as it sits atop of a subduction zone and has some of the world’s most active volcanoes. These activities are also known to shape the world-famous Andes Mountains that are located in Chile. With the Villarrica Volcano recently erupting, there is no telling if any of the other volcanoes will erupt soon as well.
Read also: Guardian Liberty Voice
By Liz Pimentel
Photo provided by Claudio Sepúlveda Geoffroy – License