Thousands Flee Eruption of Long-Dormant Chilean Volcano
April 24, 2015 By Staff
Top Story — Authorities in Chile have ordered the evacuation of at least 4,000 people after eruptions by the massive Calbuco volcano generated an ash cloud some 10 miles (six kilometers) high.
The volcano, located in the southern region of Los Lagos and dormant since 1972, first erupted on Wednesday afternoon, and then again shortly after 1 a.m. on Thursday, The Associated Press reported. , Concerns persist about further volcanic activity.
The interior ministry has ordered a red alert, its highest, in the affected area and military troops and the national police force have been deployed to the region. While no deaths or injuries have been reported in connection with the eruption, the authorities have expressed concerns about the effects of falling ash on the health of the affected population, according to local media.
Chile’s National Geology and Mining Service (SERNAGEOMIN) has also warned of a third eruption, the AP notes. In addition to the evacuations ordered, at least five border crossings have been closed, schools shuttered and flights cancelled at the airport in the nearby town of Puerto Montt.
The eruption is just the latest natural disaster to strike Chile, following another, smaller volcano eruption in March, as well as droughts, wildfires and flooding. The latter, in which 23 people died, was a source of controversy for President Michelle Bachelet, whose response was considered inadequate by some critics.
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