Wednesday, Chilean officials in the country's southern Llanquihue province declared a state of emergency following the violent and sudden eruption of an inactive volcano.
The Calbuco volcano, near Puerto Octay, had been dormant for more than 50 years prior to Wednesday's explosion.
According to reports, the volcano erupted twice, several hours apart, in equally powerful bursts; volcanologists said a third eruption is likely.
The first eruption lasted a whopping 90 minutes and came with little warning. Officials say volcano monitoring systems picked up no sign of potential activity until mere minutes before the fiery blast.
Following the violent explosions, air traffic was suspended and all locals within a 12-mile radius from the volcano were forced to evacuate.
President Michelle Bachelet said,
The ash might damage crops, animal feed, bridges, roads, people's work routines, tourism and especially their health.
In addition, the National Geology and Mining Service warned of the possibility of lava flow and, because the mountainous area surrounding the volcano is particularly icy, this poses a high risk for flooding.
Fortunately, there are currently no reports of injured or missing persons and no reports of a third eruption.
According to some reports, the eruptions sent ash six miles into the sky.
Chile looks apocalyptic right now http://t.co/g4kyC8y2Kl pic.twitter.com/abw0Mkbw8r — The Independent (@Independent) April 23, 2015
Others report a figure closer to 12 miles.
Red Alert! Chile's #Calbuco volcano erupts for first time in 42yrs (VIDEO, PHOTOS) http://t.co/y4CdCPaPc6 pic.twitter.com/rFnmcwDbwD — RT (@RT_com) April 23, 2015
The massive ash cloud is even crossing over into Argentinian skies.
The Eruption of Chile's Calbuco Volcano - 9 breathtaking photos from southern Chile - http://t.co/OFL5JIQfe9 pic.twitter.com/G7btZkK6Ft — The Atlantic Photo (@TheAtlanticFOTO) April 23, 2015
On a power scale of 0-8, the eruptions measured between a 4 and 5, according to officials.
PHOTOS: The #Calbuco volcanic eruption sent a smoke & ash cloud 12 miles into the sky http://t.co/SqXzm5Br4f pic.twitter.com/URM2aF8gPA — Newsweek (@Newsweek) April 23, 2015
Locals within a 12-mile radius were forced to evacuate the area.
Dazzling photos of lightning forks through billowing ash from Chile's Calbuco volcano: http://t.co/KDvtlFGtyy pic.twitter.com/Ah2Q1o9Fb3 — Mashable (@mashable) April 23, 2015
Some estimate that included around 1,500 people.
Dynamite timelapse views of Chile's erupting #Calbuco #volcano: http://t.co/Ity3aIrDYV pic.twitter.com/5S2NcmvyOQ — Capital Weather Gang (@capitalweather) April 23, 2015
Others report more than 4,000 fled.
Jesus. RT @Independent: This is what Chile looks like, right now http://t.co/wentNVsf3E pic.twitter.com/secdbL9A4V — the rural juror. (@themakeda) April 23, 2015
The blast was catastrophic, yes, but so beautiful.
Chile's Calbuco volcano erupts for the 1st time in more than 42 years; police evacuate 1,500 http://t.co/RaJg1Yvm7S pic.twitter.com/kudx4ktre3 — CBS News (@CBSNews) April 23, 2015
It's a reminder that nature is stronger than man...
IN PICTURES: The #Calbuco volcano has erupted in southern #Chile http://t.co/T4dc9SJmt9 pic.twitter.com/ykvo6zwJQD — DW (English) (@dw_english) April 23, 2015
...and more beautiful....
Chile's Calbuco #Volcano erupting at #sunset. More photos here: http://t.co/O32zySYoNv Pic via @elrafaarenas. pic.twitter.com/nbm6xOPo4n — The Weather Channel (@weatherchannel) April 23, 2015
...and always will be.
15+ Breathtaking Pics Of Volcano Eruption In Chile That Forced 4,000 To Evacuate (15+ pics): http://t.co/fiSxxuA6iW pic.twitter.com/0VtldTeZip — Bored Panda (@boredpanda) April 23, 2015