Early hours of Tuesday witnessed the eruption of volcano Villarrica in southern Chile, spewing ash and lava up to 1,000 meters into the sky. The volcanic eruption forced the evacuation of nearby communities. The volcano is known to be one of the most active volcanoes of South America. It is situated near the popular tourist resort of Pucon, around 750 km (460 miles) south of the capital Santiago. This active volcano Villarrica is 2840 meters high and has a lava lake in its crater. It forms a popular destination for hikers.
The eruption took place at around 3 am local time and television pictures showed orange lava and ash shooting into the night sky. However, as the dawn broke the volcano became quieter. According to the report of Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo, some 3,385 people have been evacuated as a preventive measure. An emergency meeting was held on Tuesday morning by the government to discuss the situation with the police and military in the presidential palace in Santiago.
Located on the so-called Pacific Rim of Fire, Chile hosts the second largest chain of volcanoes in the world after Indonesia. It includes about 500 potentially active volcanoes. The year 2011 marked the eruption of Puyehue which sent an ash cloud into the atmosphere, disrupting flights in neighboring Argentina for months.