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Villarrica

Villarrica, one of Chile's most active volcanoes erupted in the early hours of February 7th, 2015 spewing ash and lava upto 1000m (3,300ft) forcing the evacuation of 3,385 people in nearby communities. Villarrica triggered yellow alarms at both Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería and Onemi. Minor explosions and low emissions of ashes were visible before it erupted in the wee hours.

The 2840m-high Villarrica is an active volcano with a lava lake in its crater, with its lava of basaltic-andesitic composition, is one of a small number worldwide known to have an active (but in this case intermittent) lava lake within its crater. The volcano is also known as Rucapillán, a Mapuche word meaning "House of the Pillán" or "House of the spirit". It is the westernmost of three large stratovolcanoes that trend perpendicular to the Andean chain along the Gastre Fault. Villarrica, along with Quetrupillán and the Chilean portion of Lanín, are protected within Villarrica National Park. Ascents of the volcano are popular with several guided ascents reaching the top during summer. It is a popular destination for hikers. Hundreds climb the peak each summer to peer inside the crater.

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