Huaynaputina, volcano, 15,912 ft (4,850 m) high, Moquegua region, S Peru, in the central Andes. A stratovolcano, it lies on the W rim of the Río Tambo canyon and has several ash cones within its crater. On Feb. 19, 1600, it erupted catastrophically, with severe local and global consequences. Pyroclastic flows, mudflows, and ashfall from the volcano destroyed villages, damaged Arequipa and Moquegua, killed some 1,500 persons, and adversely affected the regional economy for decades. The sulfur dioxide released into the atmosphere formed sulfuric acid droplets, which prevented significant quantities of sunlight from reaching the earth's surface. The global cooling that resulted led to extremely cold winters in the Northern Hemisphere during the next two years, and from 1601 to 1603 Russia suffered the worst famine in its history.
The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.
See more Encyclopedia articles on: Latin American and Caribbean Physical Geography