A dense cloud of smoke rose above Chile's Villarrica Volcano on 31 March 2015 as scientists reported moderate activity within its crater.

In the last few hours, strombolian eruptions, which are relatively low-level volcanic eruptions, were reported by Chilean Mining Ministry's Sernageomin geology unit. The largest one rose 300m above the crater, with debris falling over its slopes.

Tourists took in the sights, as smoke columns rose above the impressive volcano.

Although volcanic activity remains unstable, Pucon Education Director Alejandro Duran said children had been allowed to return to classes, following emergency protocols.

"The idea is to run it by the parents, so that they feel schools are now safe with regards to the volcano and obviously for them (school authorities) to know that we respect action protocols in each one of our establishments," Duran said.

The director at the Carlos Holzapfer school in Pucon, Patricia Arratia, said she wanted to reassure parents a proper emergency plan was in place.

"We are meeting to discuss what a volcanic emergency means, so that our superiors know children at our school are going to be safe and we have a concrete evacuation plan in place," Arratia said.

The volcano, located near the popular tourist resort of Pucon around 750km south of the capital Santiago, is among the most active in South America.

On 3 March, a short-lived eruption of ash and rock led to the evacuation of thousands from the nearby area.

Authorities have restricted access to the area within 5km of the crater and have put the area under an orange alert due to the volcano's heightened unrest and increased likelihood of eruption.