Chile: Puyehue volcano chain erupts, forcing evacuation
by staff reopt via stele - BBC Sunday, Jun 5 2011, 1:45am
Volcanic Eruption makes mockery of G Sachs Carbon Tax
A chain of volcanoes has erupted in southern Chile, [releasing millions of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere and] forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents.
Southern Chile Eruption
Large columns of smoke have been rising from the Puyehue-Cordon-Caulle volcano range, about 800km (500 miles) south of the capital Santiago.
Witnesses also reported a strong smell of ash and sulphur. A dozen small earthquakes were recorded before the eruption began.
The officials have issued a red alert - the maximum warning level for the area.
Evacuation orders were issued for some 3,500 people, the local authorities said.
They added that the residents would be relocated in temporary shelters in safe areas.
So far there have been no reports of any injuries.
However, ash clouds have drifted to neighbouring Argentina where officials have ordered residents to stay indoors.
A regional airport in the Argentine city of Bariloche has been closed due to the volcanic ash.
Eyewitness Juli Kessler told the BBC she saw "big black clouds hanging over the Andes" and ash dust lying on the road.
It is the first time since 1960 that the volcanic chain has erupted.
© 2011 BBC
<< back to stories