Calbuco volcano, the stratovolcano in southern Chile has erupted twice for the first time since 1972 and the people have been evacuated from the area. It is the first eruption of the stratovolcano in 43 years; it results in a huge ash cloud over a mountainous area in the south of Chile.

The amazing footage from the area shows a huge column of lava and ash being sent several kilometers into the air.

Video: the eruption of Calbuco volcano, Chile. An ash cloud rose at least 15 kilometers (50,000 feet) above the volcano, menacing the nearby communities of Puerto Montt (Chile) and San Carlos de Bariloche (Argentina). The eruption led the Chilean Emergency Management Agency and the Chilean Geology and Mining Service (SERNAGEOMIN) to order evacuations within a 20-kilometer (12 miles) radius around the volcano. About 1,500 to 2,000 people were evacuated; no casualties have been reported so far.

Calbuco Volcano

Last erupted in 1972, the Calbuco volcano is considered one of the top three most potentially dangerous of Chile’s 90 active volcanoes. It has had at least 10 eruptions since 1837. The most recent eruption was on April 22, 2015.

With an elevation of 2,015 meters (6,611 feet) above sea level, the volcano and the surrounding area are protected within the Llanquihue National Reserve of Chile.

The volcanic mountain was quiet until tremors began late in the afternoon on April 22, 2015. An explosive pyroclastic eruption started at 6:04 p.m. local time (21:04 Universal Time) and vigorously spewed ash and pumice for at least 90 minutes. Lava flows were observed from the main vent. A second high-energy pulse of ash occurred around 1 a.m. on April 23

The authorities have declared a red alert and evacuated more than 4,000 people within a 20 km (12 miles) radius.

The eruption also caused airline flight cancellations and evacuation of the surrounding countryside. A flow of lava was reported into Chapo Lake (a lake of Chile located in the Los Lagos Region, it lies immediately southeast of Calbuco volcano and south of Llanquihue National Reserve) on the same day.

The Chilean administration, which had faced two major catastrophes the previous months -a wildfire in Valparaíso and a flood in northern towns- declared exceptional constitutional restrictions the same day. Air Force General Jorge Gebauer Bittner was appointed as Chief of Defense in the catastrophe zone. On April 23rd, at 01:00 a new, more energic pulse started.

Calbuco Volcano erupts (April 22, 2015)
Southern Chile’s Calbuco Volcano erupts (April 22, 2015). Photo: Reuters. It is a very explosive andesite volcano whose lavas usually contain 55-60% SiO2. It underwent edifice collapse in the late Pleistocene, producing a volcanic debris avalanche that reached the lake.

Calbuco volcano is a stratovolcano, also known as a composite volcano, a conical volcano built up by many layers (strata) of hardened lava, tephra, pumice, and volcanic ash.

Unlike shield volcanoes, stratovolcanoes are characterized by a steep profile and periodic explosive eruptions and effusive eruptions, although some have collapsed craters called calderas.

The lava flowing from stratovolcanoes typically cools and hardens before spreading far due to high viscosity. The magma forming this lava is often felsic, having high-to-intermediate levels of silica (as in rhyolite, dacite, or andesite), with lesser amounts of less-viscous mafic magma.

Stratovolcanoes are sometimes called “composite volcanoes” because of their composite layered structure built up from sequential outpourings of eruptive materials. They are among the most common types of volcanoes, in contrast to the less common shield volcanoes.

Two famous stratovolcanoes are Krakatoa, best known for its catastrophic eruption in 1883, and Vesuvius, famous for its destruction of the towns Pompeii and Herculaneum in 79 AD. Both eruptions claimed thousands of lives.

The existence of stratovolcanoes has not been proved on other terrestrial bodies of the solar system with one exception. Their existence was suggested for some isolated massifs on Mars, e.g., Zephyria Tholus.

The Exact Moment of the Calbuco Volcano Eruption captured by a hiker

The exact moment of the Calbuco Volcano eruption was captured by a currently anonymous hiker in Chile.

The Exact Moment of the Calbuco Volcano Eruption (Chile)

The eruption lasted 90 minutes and sent a plume of volcanic ash 10 km (33,000 feet) into the sky. A flow of lava was reported into Chapo Lake on the same day. The eruption caused airline flight cancellations to Chile as well as Argentina and Uruguay. Authorities evacuated 4,000 people from a zone with a 20 km radius from the volcano.


M. Özgür Nevres

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