Calbuco Volcano Causes Evacuation


For the first time in forty two years, Chile's Calbuco volcano has erupted, shooting ash clouds as high as 40,000 feet. There is a beautiful time-lapse video that has gone viral. As beautiful as the video is, there has been an evacuation of 1,500 residents of a town near the volcano called Ensenada. There are other smaller communities that have been evacuated as well.

This view from Puerto Varas, southern Chile, shows a high column of ash and lava spewing from the Calbuco volcano, on April 23, 2015. (David Cortes Serey/AFP/Getty Images)

Chile is under a state of emergency, which has been declared by President Michelle Bachelet. There is also a high alert preventing access to the area around the volcano which was issued by the National Mining and Geology Service. The volcano is a short six hundred miles south of the capital, Santigo.

During the day on Wednesday, there was an initial eruption shooting plumes and ashes but late last night, there was a second eruption blasting hot rocks skyward. This showed an display of volcanic lightening.

As of 10 AM CST, there have been over four thousand people evacuated within a twelve mile radius. There are 90 active volcanos in Chile but Calbuco is one of the top three most dangerous. Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt have had flights cancelled because they are in close proxy of the volcano.

Mayor Gervoy Paredes told the BBC that residents were “very, very frightened.” 

There have been reports of people crying and panicking in an "Armageddon" reaction. There will be updates following this story closely.