SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Chile is issuing an alert over increased activity at Villarica volcano.

The 9,000-foot (2,847-meter) volcano is located in Chile's central valley some 400 miles (670 kilometers) south of Santiago. It's one of South America's most active, and it has a lava lake within its crater.

Tens of thousands of people live nearby, and it's a popular tourist and skiing destination.

National volcanic surveillance chief Luis Lara said Monday that "there's a high chance of active eruptive activity."

Meanwhile, the national emergency office says it has been preparing plans in case evacuations are necessary.