The Sabancaya volcano started spewing ash and smoke some 3,500 meters (11,500 feet) into the air on Monday, in the latest in a series of worrying explosions in the south of the South American country.
The volcano, situated just 40 miles from Peru’s second most populous city Arequipa in the Andes, returned to life at 8.24am on Monday just over a week after it began activity on December 16.
Local authorities have warned the local inhabitants they are likely to be affected by the ash from the 20,000-ft (6,000m) volcano whose name translates at ‘tongue of fire’ in the local dialect of Quechua.
Sabancaya sits on top of the South America tectonic plate which when it clashes with the neighbouring Nazca plate, spews magma to the surface.
The stratovolcano had been dormant for around 200 years until it began erupting in the 1980s.
Sabancaya is covered with several glaciers and located in the saddle between the older volcanoes Ampato and Hualca Hualca.
The first recorded activity of the volcano dates back to 1750 but its name appears in written accounts that date back to 1595, suggesting it had been active for centuries.
The current activity first started on November 6, which was the volcano’s first activity in 18 years but there had been seismic activity in the area since 2013.
Ash and gases rose up to 1,500m above its peak.
Authorities issued a warning and implemented emergency measures to the local residents.
Worryingly, Peru is suffering from two active volcanoes at the same time, the first time this has occurred in recorded history.
The Ubinas volcano with is only 60 miles away is currently active as well, spewing an ash cloud into the atmosphere around two miles high.
The stratovolcano is Peru’s most active volcano and was last active in April 2014.
It had been dormant for 40 years before starting activity in 2006.
Authorities have began a mass evacuation of the surrounding area of the volcano.
Officials stated that it will take around three days to move around 4,000 residents and their livestock to safer ground.
Agriculture Minister Juan Benites said the residents and around 30,000 animals, including llamas and alpacas would be moved to an area some 12 miles away.
Peruvian Geophysical Institute (IGP) investigator Orlando Macedo said: “All this activity is part of an expected process. Before the eruption, tremors were occurring closer and closer to the volcano and the crater. However, the process is taking longer than that which we saw at the Ubinas Volcano, when everything happened in a matter of days. In the case of Sabancaya, this could go on for several months.”