Early on Saturday, a volcano in northern Chile’s Andes erupted, causing mild earth tremors and erupting a plume of smoke and ash that rose 6,000 metres (almost 20,000 feet) into the clear sky.
The Lascar volcano began to erupt around 12:36 am (15:36 GMT), informed Chile’s National Geology and Mining Service.
Chile news service reported, the volcano launched ‘an eruptive column’ of volcanic ash and hot gases 6,000 metres above its crater.
Authorities imposed a no-entry zone five kilometres (three miles) surrounding the crater and upped the alert level to ‘yellow,’ which denotes significant volcanic activity.
Additionally, they warned aircraft about the drifting smoke.
In case evacuations were necessary, authorities maintained regular communication with officials in Talabre, a town 30 kilometres away from the volcano. No reports of property damage, however.
Lascar, which is located 70 kilometres from San Pedro de Atacama and has an elevation of 5,592 metres above sea level, is a popular tourist destination for treks, amateur astronomy, and excursions to the Atacama Desert, the driest spot on Earth.
1993 saw the eruption of Lascar, but there was also reduced volcanic activity in 2006 and 2015.
Yellow alerts are still in place further south for areas around the Nevados de Chillan volcanic complex and the Villarrica volcano.