One of the most active volcanoes in Chile could be about to erupt, with authorities in the country raising the alert level.
Plumes of white smoke and tremors have been detected from the massive volcano, named Chillan, which had already been on a yellow alert since 2015.
Unusual flows of lava in one of Chillan’s 17 craters have also been reported by Chile’s emergency body Sernageomin.
They said around 4,000 tremors and 800 explosions of smoke and gas have been logged.
In response, authorities raised the alert level to orange—one below the top level—and sent emergency officials to the area in case of evacuation.
The volcano is located in the Andes in a mountainous and mostly rural area, but it is a popular tourist destination with many luxury hotels and ski resorts. It is in the Bio Bio region of the Chilean Andes, about 300 miles south of Santiago, a densely forested area.
The volcano has shown increased activity since December with several eruptions of ash.
Experts monitor the situation from an observatory in Temuco, a city around 370 miles south of Santiago in the southern Andes.
Chillan has erupted around 10 times between 1861 and 2003, although the last recorded instance was in 1973, with no deaths reported.
Chile has about 90 active volcanoes.
Reuters contributed to this report.