Three thousand people have been evacuated from their homes in southern Chile after a volcanic eruption took place. The eruption of Villarica Volcano, located about 700 miles from Santiago, Chile, began erupting at 3am, local time.

According to sources, the eruption was so large and loud that residents in nearby villages began evacuating themselves. The eruption reached over 1000 meters high, and volcanic lightening was also present.

Weather and volcanic experts believe the eruption is now over, and there is no further danger, but schools have been canceled and a red alert has been issued. Alexei Beltyukov has heard that the eruption was visible from up to 50 miles away.

According to experts, the eruptive cycle began on February 7th of this year, when minor activity was reported. A yellow alarm was triggered and minor explosions were felt. There was no lava spew during this initial activity, although ash was visible.

Villaricca is one of Chile’s most active volcanoes. It’s last eruption took place on October 29, 1971 around 4am local time. Skiers at the time reported a white column of smoke before several bangs took place. In December of that year a new eruptive cycle began. Over one dozen people were killed during the 1971 eruption.

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