This is the first time in four decades that the Calbuco volcano has erupted. It blasted twice on Wednesday and about 5,000 people have evacuated.
According to NPR:
The Calbuco volcano in southern Chile erupted this week for the first time in four decades. Quiet since 1972, it’s blown twice since Wednesday, generating striking images and concerns over the effects of both the lava and a mammoth cloud of ash.
That column of ejected ash measures nearly 7 miles, says Chile’s National Mining and Geology Service, citing a “flyby” that was made early Thursday. In its latest update, the agency says volcanic activity is finally diminishing but that a state of emergency remains for a 12-mile area.
Saying 5,000 people have left the area around the volcano, NPR’s Lourdes Garcia-Navarro reports, “Local officials say people are very, very frightened. The immediate concern is the volcano’s eruption could trigger snow melts and cause flooding.”