Volcano eruption leads to state of emergency, evacuations in southern Peru
Peru’s government has declared a state of emergency and carried out numerous evacuations in the areas hit in one way or another by the Ubinas volcano’s eruptive process which has affected around 30,000 people in the south of the country, mainly due to the dispersion of ashes, authorities reported Sunday.
According to the National Emergency Operations Center (COEN), 617 schools and 20 health centres in the areas of Moquegua, Arequipa, Tacna and Puno were covered in ashes, having an impact on the lives of 29,700 people, most of whom -some 19,000 people- were in the region of Puno, bordering Bolivia, followed by Moquegua with more than 9,200, Arequipa with 1,257 and Tacna, on the border with Chile, with 141 inhabitants in the province of Candarave.
The volcanic activity peaked Thursday when a column of ash of about 5,000 metres high dispersed in several regions of the south of the country, even reaching places in neighbouring Bolivia.
Volcanological scholar Jersy Mariño of the Mining and Metallurgical Geological Institute (Ingemmet), said that “for now, it is a moderate eruption that has reached almost 5 kilometers high,” which is being monitored every day. There are eight volcanoes in southern Peru, but the Ubinas is particularly active with eruptions “every 5 or 6 years, Mariño explained.