Chile’s Calbuco volcano erupted for the first time in over 42 years on Wednesday, creating a remarkable scene of smoke plumes and ash shooting into the sky. A second eruption Wednesday night blasted red-hot rocks skyward and produced an extraordinary display of volcanic lightning.
The nation’s National Office of Emergency of the Interior Ministry (ONEMI) issued a red alert for the communities of Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt following the powerful eruption, which came as a surprise to authorities when it occurred around 6:15 p.m. local time (5:15 p.m. EDT) Wednesday.
Alejandro Verges, regional emergency director of the Los Lagos region, told the Associated Press the volcano wasn’t under special observation and, “For us, it was a surprise.”
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