Villarrica Volcano In Chile Erupts Again

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Villarrica Volcano Erupts Once Again
In PHOTO: Ash and lava spew from the Villarrica volcano, as seen from Pucon town in the south of Santiago, March 3, 2015. Volcano Villarrica in southern Chile erupted in the early hours of Tuesday, sending a plume of ash and lava high into the sky, and forcing the evacuation of nearby communities. Reuters

Villarrica volcano in Southern Chile recently erupted after a brief period of inactivity. The explosion resulted in a massive surge of lava into the air and its surroundings, causing authorities to call for alert level orange, which is the second to the highest ranking. According to the Chilean Geology, and Mining Service, or Sernageomin, the volcano is currently experiencing "weak and intermittent Strombolian eruption." Strombolian eruption is the intermittent explosion of basaltic lava from a single crater.

The series of the volcanoes’ latest eruptions started on Feb 7, causing minor ash plumes and sporadic explosions, which made the authorities raise a yellow level alert. On March 3, subsequent pre-dawn eruption occurred, causing thousands of people situated within the 10-kilometre radius to flee to a safe place. The most recent volcanic explosion that occurred left the eastern part of the mountain drenched with lava and volcanic materials.

The evacuation orders were given by the Interior Minister Rodrigo Peñailillo to the the cities of Pucon, Villarica, and Panguipulli. According to records, Peñailillo said that approximately 4,000 people were evacuated. A mudslide destroyed two small bridges over the Turbio River, causing 45 people to be left stranded. Furthemore, Peñailillo said that the roads were opened to traffic at 10 am after the disaster happened at dawn. President Michelle Bachelet personally went to the area to have closer look at the situation and get to to know what really transpired.

Villarrica Volcano is the one of the most active volcanoes in Chile, located 750 kilometres south of Santiago. It is a snow-capped stratovolcano that measures 2,860 metres high. It is considered as one of the most active volcanoes with a record of 66 eruptions since the Europeans arrived in the country.

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