The Calbuco volcano erupted Wednesday for the first time in more than 42 years and it was caught on tape.
The volcano is shown billowing a huge ash cloud over a sparsely populated, mountainous area in southern Chile.
Authorities ordered the evacuation of the 1,500 inhabitants of the nearby town of Ensenada, along with residents of two smaller communities.
The National Mining and Geology Service issued a high alert, barring access to the area around the volcano, which lies near the cities of Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt, a little more than 1,000 kilometers (620 miles) south of Chile’s capital, Santiago.
“For us it was a surprise,” said Alejandro Verges, regional emergency director of the Los Lagos region where the eruption took place. He said Calbuco wasn’t under any special form of observation.
Authorities said a large amount of ash was observed but no hot rocks or lava had been seen by late in the day. No injuries were reported.
The Education Ministry canceled school in communities near the volcano and at least three flights to Puerto Montt were canceled.
The 6,500 foot (2,000-meter) Calbuco last erupted in 1972 and is considered one of the top three most potentially dangerous among Chile’s 90 active volcanoes.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.