PUERTO OCTAY, Chile, April 23 (UPI) -- The Calbuco volcano in southern Chile erupted a second time in the early hours of Thursday, dumping ash on nearby towns and leaving one hiker missing.
The first eruption was unexpected, taking place Wednesday evening. The second blast occurred around 1 a.m. local time Thursday.
Some 4,480 people living in the 12-mile exclusion zone around the volcano were evacuated, Chile's National Service of Geology and Mining said.
A column of ash shot up more than nine miles into the air, creating a plume that could be seen for miles. Towns as far away as 70 miles -- including in Argentina -- were covered in ash.
The soaring clouds of ash, which sparked a lightening storm, made for some stunning video and photo opportunities.
The government also issued a health advisory within 13 miles of Calbuco, and officials planned to distribute 46,000 face masks to protect people from breathing in ash, the Los Angeles Times reported.
The president has declared a state of emergency, though there are not expected to be any food, water or fuel shortages.
"I had never seen this before. It scares you in the beginning. You start to wonder what is going to happen to you," one unnamed resident told the BBC.
Chilean officials said they were searching for a missing mountain hiker who was last seen hiking near the volcano shortly before the first eruption.
"The central concern are the lives of people and for this reason we will make effort to find [him]," said Interior Undersecretary Mahmud Aleuy.
This was the first time the volcano, which is located near the town of Puerto Octay in Llanquihue province, has had a major eruption since 1961.