Where: Santiago, Chile
April 4, 2009 : Llaima volcano, which is located in Chile’s scenic lake region, erupted on Saturday, 4 April, 2009. It is one of the most active volcanoes in South America. It emitted a river of lava more than 1,000 metres long. People could see bright red bursts of lava in the night sky during the eruptions. Explosions reaching 600 metres above the crater, and falling ash were also visible.
The lava and hot gases from the eruption have melted the snow on the sides of the volcano. Some towns were thought to be in danger of being hit by mudslides. Some 70 people from the sparsely populated region were shifted out to safety. The Conguillio national park which surrounds the volcano has been closed. While an ash-swollen river near the volcano swept away a pedestrian bridge, no other damage was reported.
The volcano’s first activity in recent times was an eruption on January 1, 2008. Since then, it has shown sporadic activity. In May, 2008, the 1,200 km high Chaiten volcano in Chile’s Patagonia region erupted for the first time in thousands of years. It spewed ash, gas and molten rock. Thousands of people had to be relocated to safety. Chile has a chain of around 2,000 volcanoes, second only to Indonesia. Around 50 to 60 have seen eruptions, according to records. Nearly 500 are said to be potentially active.