From the ARRL

Amateur Radio Volunteers Activate Emergency Nets Following Chile Volcano Eruption

Southern Chile’s Calbuco volcano erupted this week for the first time in more than 40 years, forcing the evacuation of an area of some 12 miles around the volcano. Approximately 5000 residents have been relocated, and ash has been reported from as far away as Argentina.

According to Chile’s National Mining and Geology Service, the column of ash measures nearly 7 miles. The agency said volcanic activity was diminishing but that the state of emergency remains for the affected region.”Nature strikes our Chilean brothers one more time,” said International Amateur Radio Union Region 2 news editor Joaquín Solana, XE1R. IARU Region 2 reports that emergency nets are in operation on 7050 kHz, 14,250 kHz (alternate), and 3,738 kHz (alternate), and requests that other users keep those frequencies clear for emergency traffic.

NPR quoted correspondent Lourdes Garcia-Navarro, who reported that local officials are saying people are very frightened. “The immediate concern is the volcano’s eruption could trigger snow melts and cause flooding,” she said.

According to NPR, the volcanic activity “seems to have caught Chile’s geologists by surprise.” No injuries have been reported so far.

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