A volcano is on red alert near the Chile-Argentina border with the volcano billowing ash and smoke as geologists keep watch.
The volcano was put on red alert on Sunday after it became increasingly active, CBS News reported. The Copahue volcano, which sits in the Andes cordillera, first started emitting spewing ash and gas on Saturday.
Officials first raised a yellow alert, which was then upgraded to orange. Chile’s emergency office quickly put the volcano on red alert after seismic activity registered on Saturday night and a cloud of ash rose from the volcano a mile into the air.
“Authorities have overflown the volcano area and the alert is still red,” Gilda Grandon of Chile’s emergency office unit told The Associated Press. “We have noted some drop in the ash plume but the alert level is maintained because a full eruption is not ruled out.”
The volcano on red alert is near a community known as Alto Biobio, which has been put under heightened alert. As CNN noted, the governor and emergency officials in Biobio met on Sunday to discuss possible scenarios including a plan for a mass evacuation.
Chile’s Geological and Mining Service issued a statement stressing that no mandatory evacuations have yet been ordered near the volcano on red alert.
The volcano now on red alert has erupted before in 1991. Then, ten years later, it again became active, spewing gases and and blasts in the worst activity in two decades. Another volcano in southern Chile erupted violently last year, forcing hundreds of flights to be cancelled and more than 3,500 people to be evacuated.