Chile raises alert on Villarrica volcano activity
Chilean authorities have raised the alert level for the Villarrica volcano to orange, the second-highest, after scientists detected an increase in its activity
September 28, 2023 9:47am
Updated: September 28, 2023 9:47am
Chilean authorities raised the alert level for the Villarrica volcano to orange, the second-highest, after scientists detected an increase in its activity earlier this week.
Towering at 9,340 feet high, Villarrica is one of the most active volcanoes in the South American continent and throughout the Latin American region.
It last erupted eight years ago in 2015.
Access to the area was blocked, and reports indicate that the 30 some families who reside in a five-mile radius from the crater were also evacuated.
Schools in the nearby towns of Villarrica and Pucón were shut down for five days from Monday and the Chilean government mandated teaching would only be permitted online.
The stratovolcano, which is located 465 miles south of the capital, is believed to have been active for an estimated 650,000 years.
While the cone-shaped snow-capped volcano is typically popular with skiers and climbers, the national park located on the mountain’s slopes was closed while the orange alert remains in place.
Seismic reports indicate the volcano has had an estimated 50 eruptions since the 1500s.