I'm sure many of you have been reading about the recent volcano eruption in southern Chile. This volcano is located within the boundaries of the Chile Osorno Mission and is near the small town of Chaiten. There is a small independent branch of the church in Chaiten with two missionaries. I believe the missionaries have been evacuated along with all of the town inhabitants. This is area of Chile is sparsely populated and the Chaiten Branch covers a very large area.
Interestingly, Chile contains a large number of volcanoes but they are not as active as the volcanoes in the western Pacific. This has something to do with the more shallow subduction of the tectonic plates which can cut off magma movement towards the surface. Chile contains 36 active volcanos, (I guess that's 37, now) including the world's highest active volcanoes. The 3,950' Chaiten volcano has been erupting now for 5 days after having been dormant for over 9,000 years. And while there is lava within the volcano crater, it has not yet spilled over the sides.