Chile's Villarrica Volcano erupts early Tuesday Morning, Thousands Evacuated

Chile's Villarrica Volcano erupts early Tuesday Morning, Thousands Evacuated

A massive eruption was noticed in Villarrica in Chile, sending lava hundreds of meters over the volcano’s summit crater, early Tuesday morning. Ash spread to the neighboring region shortly after the eruption. The intensity of the eruption was so great that the accompanying lava flow melted snow on the slopes of the volcano, leading to creation of some small volcanic mudflows and debris flows.

The eruption caused evacuation of nearly 3,500 people from the small towns around Villarrica, including the vacation town of Pucón.

The latest eruption was not surprising as signs of unrest in the region were noticed by authorities over the last few weeks, with much more activity from the summit vent.

Over the past few decades, a multitude of small eruptions has been produced by Villarrica. But, the latest eruption was undoubtedly the most vigorous in at least 20 years.

The volcano’s activity reduced soon after the initial explosions. Pucon Mayor Carlos Parra told the BBC, “There's no ash, no lava flow, the volcano is totally passive at the moment”. Some evacuees have already returned to the area surrounded by the eruption.

Rodrigo Alvarez, director of the National Service of Geology and Mining, said the volcano is still unstable and alterations have been caused to some of its borders.

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