USGS: Volcano could erupt as early as Sunday
A volcano in western Peru has spewed enough ash to fill a small country house, the USGS said Saturday.
The volcano, which is the second-largest in the Amazon Basin, erupted on Friday evening and has since been producing ash for nearly an hour.
The ash is still rising and rising.
We don’t expect to see significant ash fall in a couple of days, said John Nielsen, a volcano expert at the US Geological Survey in Boulder, Colorado.
But if it erupts, it would be the largest eruption of its kind in the area for several years, Nielsen said.
If that happens, the ash could hit the coastal town of San Juan, where the town is about 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of the volcano’s summit.
“This could be the most significant eruption in the region in quite a while,” Nielsen said by phone.
The volcanic ash has a potential to be toxic and could be released in the form of clouds or rain.
It is still unclear how much ash would fall.
But at least in part because of the intense heat, the amount of ash that could fall could be significant, Nielsen added.
The eruption comes amid an increase in ash-producing volcanoes in the U.S. as scientists try to understand how they work and how to contain them.
The United States is home to some of the most active active volcanoes on Earth.