Date
23 September 2017
The Calbuco volcano in southern Chile erupted this week after lying dormant for more than 40 years. Credit: Reuters
The Calbuco volcano in southern Chile erupted this week after lying dormant for more than 40 years. Credit: Reuters

Thousands evacuated in Chile as Calbuco volcano erupts

Chilean authorities have evacuated more than 5,000 people from a popular tourist region in the nation’s south following a volcano eruption.

The Calbuco volcano, located in the picturesque Los Lagos region near the tourist town of Puerto Varas, erupted for the second time in a day on Thursday after being dormant for more than 40 years.

The first eruption on Wednesday sent a thick plume of ash and smoke several kilometers into the sky.

Following a second eruption early Thursday, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet announced that the government will be maintaining a security perimeter of about 12 miles around the volcano.

A state of emergency has been declared and a curfew imposed.

There were no reports of fatalities as of Thursday, but the government said it was taking precautions to ensure the safety of residents, the Wall Street Journal reported.

The Los Lagos region, about 1,000 kilometers south of the Chilean capital Santiago, is a well-known tourist spot for hikers and other outdoor enthusiasts.

Calbuco is the second volcano in less than two months to erupt in southern Chile.

In early March, the Villarrica volcano spewed ash and smoke, prompting the government to declare a state of emergency for the agriculture sector.

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RC

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