Huaynaputina #OnThisDay

On 19th of February 1600 the Peruvian stratovolcano Huaynaputina exploded in the most violent eruption in South American recorded history

For several days before and after the massive eruption there were earthquakes across the whole region.

The City of Arequipa during the catastrophic eruption of the volcano Huaynaputina (1600). Tons of ashes fall upon the city.

According to eye witness accounts:

In Arequipa, the sky was illuminated by lightning, and ash fell so thick that houses collapsed. The noise of the eruption was perceived as resembling artillery fire. There and in Copacabana the sky became dark. The blasts of the eruption could be heard (anecdotally) as far as Argentina and in the coastal localities of Lima, Chiquiabo and Arica. In these coastal localities it was thought that the sound came from naval engagements, likely with English corsairs. In view of this, the Viceroy of Peru sent reinforcement troops to El Callao. Closer to the vents, inhabitants of the village of Puquina saw large tongues of fire rising into the sky from Huaynaputina before they were enveloped by raining pumice and ash.


Registering 6 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index, the eruption of Huaynaputina was larger than the 1883 eruption of Krakatoa in Indonesia and the 1991 eruption of Pinatubo in the Philippines. Huaynaputina’s eruption column was high enough to penetrate the tropopause and influence the climate of Earth.

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