The Ubinas volcano, the most active in Peru, registered two first explosions on Tuesday that generated a column of ash up to 5,500 meters high at the beginning of an eruptive stage, the government and civil defense authorities reported.
The Ministry of Environment said that the ashes were dispersed by the winds towards the south and southeast sectors of the Ubinas volcano, located in the Moguegua region, in the south of the Andean country, and which had been inactive since 2019.
The ashes, after the explosions during the early hours of the morning, affected populated centers in the districts of Ubinas and Matalaque, the ministry said in a statement.
“Henceforth, the explosions could occur with intervals of hours and give rise to episodes of ash fall in districts close to the volcano,” José del Carpio, a volcanologist from the Geophysical Institute of Peru (IGP), said in the statement.
Some 2,000 people live in different populated centers around the volcano, the government reported the day before. The National Institute of Civil Defense (INDECI) recommended that the population stay away from the area of the volcano and in case of explosions cover their nose, mouth and eyes.
The Prime Minister, Alberto Otárola, said on Monday that the Government will declare an emergency in the area of the Ubinas volcano, after raising its alert level in order to prevent a possible eruptive process after emitting ash for several days.
Southern Peru, where important mining deposits are located, is home to a dozen volcanoes. The Andean country is located in the so-called “Pacific ring of fire”, an area with a high incidence of earthquakes and volcanic activity.