Lima, Jul 2 (EFE).- The government of the southern Peruvian region of Moquegua raised its alert level from yellow to orange on Sunday due to the volcanic activity of Ubinas.
The volcano, about 1,100 kilometers south of Lima, is spewing ash that is spreading to the south and southeast, where the nearest towns are located, reported the National Institute of Civil Defense (Indeci).
In a statement, the agency said that Moquegua authorities made the decision to raise the alert on the recommendation of the Geophysical Institute of Peru (IGP), and that it has provided water and other resources to the municipality of Ubinas district to be stored preventively in a shelter in the town of Siraguaya.
The municipality, in coordination with National Police officers, also delivered masks and goggles to residents of Anascapa village, as well as in the annexes of Sacohaya, San Miguel, Escacha, Tonohaya and Ubinas.
Various authorities met to coordinate contingency plans and to prepare the population for possible evacuation.
In the last 24 hours the ash has reached up to 1,700 meters above the volcano’s summit and is dispersing towards the south, southeast and northeast where the towns of Querapi, Tonohaya, Anascapa, Sacohaya, Ubinas, Lloque and Yunga are located, as well as ranches and grazing lands.
The National Emergency Operations Center is monitoring the situation in coordination with regional and local authorities. It also maintains permanent contact with the Decentralized Directorate of Indeci “in view of the possible effects on the population from the dispersal of volcanic ash.”
The IGP reiterated Saturday the recommendation for the authorities of Moquegua to raise the alert level due to the increase in Ubinas’ internal seismic activity – the rise of magma, thermal anomalies and ash emissions.
IGP volcanologist José Carpio said that the volcano could maintain its current levels, with “slight and occasional emission” of volcanic ash, or this could be the beginning of “the explosive stage of the eruption due to the increase in the various monitoring parameters.”
Indeci reported on June 23 that 1,741 people and 722 homes were exposed to volcanic activity, which at that time led regional authorities to raise the alert level from green to yellow.
Experts point out that there are more than 400 volcanoes in Peru, of which Ubinas and Sabancaya, the latter in Arequipa, are in an eruptive process, while five others are active, including Misti, Huaynaputina, Ticsani, Yucamane and Tutupaca.
In September 2019, the ash expelled by Ubinas reached the town of the same name after three explosions that covered up to about 6 kilometers southeast of the crater with a 1 millimeter layer. EFE