The Calbuco volcano in southern Chile has erupted twice in the space of a few hours. The authorities of Southern Chili have declared a red alert and more than 4,000 people within a 20km (12 mile) radius are being evacuated, following the massive eruption of the Calbuco volcano – its first in over 42 years.
Thick clouds of ash and smoke shot up several kilometers into the sky. The volcano is located near the tourist location of Puerto Varas, about 1,000 km (625 miles) south of the nation’s capital Santiago.
Footage from the area shows a huge column of lava and ash being sent several kilometres into the air.
The Calbuco volcano is one of the most active in Chile, but its eruption took officials in the area by surprise.
Alejandro Verges, an emergency director for the region, said Calbuco had not been under any special form of observation.
And great earthquakes shall be in divers places, and famines, and pestilences; and fearful sights and great signs shall there be from heaven- Luke 21:11 (KJV).
The inhabitants of the nearby town of Ensenada – along with residents from two other smaller communities – have been ordered to evacuate their homes. Schools in the area have been shut and some flights cancelled.
“There are a lot of people out in the streets, many heading to the gas stations to fill up on gas,” a resident of Puerto Varas, Derek Way, told Reuters.
The nearby city of Puerto Montt – a gateway to the popular Patagonia region – has already been blanketed in a cloud of ash.
TV footage showed traffic jams in the city and long queues at petrol stations. The nearby town of Puerto Varas was also under a state of alert.
Mayor Gervoy Paredes said residents were “very, very frightened”.
“I had never seen this before. It scares you in the beginning. You start to wonder what is going to happen to you,” said one unnamed woman.
“Everyone starts to think about gathering water and I don’t know what. We got together with the neighbours to see what we would do and wait for news over the radio because we knew that they were evacuating Ensenada and other places near the volcano.”
Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo called on people affected to “remain calm and stay informed”.
Neighbouring Argentina has also put emergency measures in place for the city of Bariloche – about 100km from Calbuco – where ash clouds are expected.
Residents there have been warned to stay indoors.
Chile has the second largest chain of volcanoes in the world after Indonesia, with about 500 that are potentially active.
It is southern Chile’s second volcanic eruption in as many months.
In March, the Villarrica volcano erupted in the early hours of the morning, spewing ash and lava. The authorities say this latest eruption is more serious.
Calbuco’s last eruption was in 1972, while it is one of Chile’s most dangerous active volcanoes.
Volcanic eruptions are frequent in Chile, where about 500 volcanoes are potentially active. It is considered to have the second largest chain of volcanoes in the world, after Indonesia.
Southern Chile was a sight of a volcanic eruption back in March, when Villarrica sent ash and lava into the sky.
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And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke – Acts 2:19 (KJV).
And the mountains shall be molten under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, and as the waters that are poured down a steep place. – Micah 1:4 (KJV).
Oh, that you would rend the heavens and come down, that the mountains would tremble before you! As when fire sets twigs ablaze and causes water to boil – Isaiah 64:1-2 (KJV).