A mountain guide who was hiking on a Chilean volcano just as it erupted Saturday became so concerned for his safety that he recorded a heartfelt farewell video to his family as he tried to escape the towering column of ash.
The guide, who was not named, was leading a group of tourists — including a mother and child — along the 18,000-foot Lascar volcano when it suddenly and unexpectedly exploded, sending a huge cloud of pulverized rock into the sky.
The group was forced to run for their lives.
“The volcano has erupted, I am on the edge of the crater. Andrés, brother… I love you very much. I have to go down as soon as possible…,” the mountain guide said while frantically running down the slope.
“Mom, dad…everyone….I love you.”
Speaking with Las Últimas Noticias, the mountaineer, aid he was leading four French nationals along the mountain, which is part of the Andes, when the eruption surprised them all.
The 51-year-old mountain guide said he has climbed the volcano at least 700 times, and has 17 years of experience as a guide.
The eruption took place around 12:30 when one of the people he was guiding turned around to ask what noise they were hearing — and it turned out to be a massive column of smoke rising.
“She and her son were very scared. The other two Frenchmen remained calm,” the guide said.
It took the group about 40 minutes to descend the mountain to safety. No one was injured in Saturday’s explosion, officials in Chile said.
When asked if he was scared during the dangerous trek, the guide said, “I am 51 years old, I have been working for 17 years as a mountain guide, the experience helped me. It was incredible. A blessing. It’s such a beautiful place, I go up once a week.”
Officials upgraded an alert from green to yellow following the Lascar volcano’s eruption of a dense column of ash on Saturday.
The National Geology and Mining Service and the National Emergency Office of the Ministry of the Interior have declared an emergency after registering an earthquake associated with the “fluid dynamics inside the volcanic system.”
Both entities said they will start publicizing safety measures to ensure residents of the area as well as tourists remain safe, since the volcano emits eruptions from time to time.
With Post wires.