It’s been four decades since a volcano in Peru has awakened, but on Tuesday, it came back to life and began spewing ash and dust into the sky. The volcano is located in southwestern Peru and has led to more than 50 people being evacuated from the nearby village of Querapi.
The volcano which is named Ubinas, last caused evacuations on April 23, 2006, when it began to rumble and emit ash and smoke into the air. Since 2006, the volcano has remained dormant and has not caused any problems for nearby residents. Before the activity in 2006, the volcano had not been active in over 40 years.
Scientists have warned the residents that the lava has been building up a lot over the last few weeks and there could be more evacuations in the future. The ash and dust that are released from the volcano can cause many people to experience breathing problems and can be dangerous.
While some residents have chosen to evacuate, those who have not chosen or been ordered to do so have been given gas masks to help protect them from the ash and smoke.
Ubinas town mayor Pascual Coaquira said,
“We are readying a shelter for refugees from the blasts.” He also added that the whole Moquegua region was on alert. “The volcano has been emitting a lot of ash all day and the people in the town (of Ubinas) are having some problems breathing. They have been given masks,” he continued.
Geologists say that the type of lava found in Ubinas moves slowly and will harden before it can cause any damage. The smoke and ash are the main dangers of the activity. Geologists are not sure how long the volcano will remain active.
There will be shelters available for those evacuating the area and in need of a place to stay until it is safe to return to their homes. It is not known if Ubinas will erupt or not, but residents are being warned that it could happen.
Image via Wikimedia Commons