Tuesday 6 December 2016

Chile volcano erupts for second time in one month after 45 years

Published 30/04/2015 | 18:32

The Calbuco volcano erupts near Puerto Varas, Chile (AP)
The Calbuco volcano erupts near Puerto Varas, Chile (AP)

The Calbuco volcano has erupted again, sending bursts of ash and hot rock billowing into the air and prompting Chilean officials to order a new evacuation of nearby residents.

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A thick plume poured from the 6,500ft cone, bringing the threat of heavy ash fall over villagers struggling to clean up from two huge blasts last week.

The eruptions at the Calbuco are the first in more than four decades.

About 4,500 people have been evacuated since the Calbuco roared back to life on April 22, sending ash about 11 miles into the sky.

The volcano, which erupted twice last week, began sending a new cloud of ash and gas high into the sky on Thursday.

Calbuco spewed over 200 million tonnes of ash last week, coating nearby towns, wrecking parts of the salmon industry and forcing the cancellation of flights as far as Buenos Aires 1,400 km away.

The volcano had gone quiet, but geological officials had warned it was still unstable and could erupt again.

The new eruption was linked to magma movement and began at 6:09 pm, the government's geology service said.

Calbuco, one of the most active along a chain of around 2,000 in Chile, is in the scenic Los Lagos region around 1,000 km south of the capital, Santiago.

TV pictures showed a thick, grey plume spreading quickly into the sky on Thursday afternoon.

It was heading south-east over the Andes into Argentina, said government meteorologist Arnaldo Zuniga.

"We are calling an emergency meeting to look at issues such as predicting the behavior of the column of smoke, in terms of climate factors, and what measures we will need to take," said Los Lagos official Nofal Abud.

A general view of Calbuco Volcano spewing ash and smoke is seen during sunset from Alerce town, April 24, 2015. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado
A general view of Calbuco Volcano spewing ash and smoke is seen during sunset from Alerce town, April 24, 2015. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado
Plumes of smoke and ash billow from the Calbuco volcano, seen from Puerto Varas, Chile, Friday, April 24, 2015. The volcano, which had been dormant for more than four decades, had two huge eruptions this week. The head of the National Mining and Geology Service said the volcano's eruptive process could last weeks and even months and warned that a third eruption was possible. (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)
Plumes of smoke and ash billow from the Calbuco volcano, seen from Puerto Varas, Chile, Friday, April 24, 2015. The volcano, which had been dormant for more than four decades, had two huge eruptions this week. The head of the National Mining and Geology Service said the volcano's eruptive process could last weeks and even months and warned that a third eruption was possible. (AP Photo/Luis Hidalgo)
Smoke and ash rise from the Calbuco volcano as seen from the city of Puerto Montt. rEUTERS/Sergio Candia

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