A volcano in Peru has sprung to life, shooting hot ash far into the air and forcing nearby villagers to scramble for safety.
The Peru volcano is located in the southwestern part of the country near the town of Querapi, and had been dormant for more than 40 years before starting to rumble back to life late last year. But after spewing ash far into the air, the volcano has now forced locals to evacuate.
“We are readying a shelter for refugees from the blasts,” said Pascual Coaquira, mayor of the nearby town of Ubinas. adding that the whole region was on alert. “The volcano has been emitting a lot of ash all day, the people in the town (of Ubinas) are having some problems breathing.”
The eruption took place at 7:42 am local time, noted Orlando Macedo, director of the Geophysical Institute of Arequipa. The ash quickly spread throughout the region, he added.
“The wind has blown towards the south, to the residents of Querapi, four kilometers from the crater, and the district of Ubinas, located at six kilometers,” said Macedo.
There were warnings about the volcano. The nation’s geological and mining agency had noticed a buildup of lava in recent weeks, warning locals that they should be prepared to evacuate if the volcano came back to life.
Peruvian officials had even been working on a plan to permanently relocate the village of Querapi, which is located just a few miles from the base of the volcano. The families relocated this week were waiting for permanent housing.
The Peru volcano is in a region that is home to about 40 other volcanoes. Though most of them are dormant, the Ubinas volcano is considered the most active in the entire country, with recorded eruptions dating back as far as 1550.