Calbuco volcano erupts in southern Chile

Eruption is Calbuco's first in more than 40 years.

Calbuco volcano erupts in southern Chile

World Bulletin / News Desk 

The Calbuco volcano in southern Chile erupted Wednesday evening for the first time in more than 40 years, prompting the evacuation of local residents.

Authorities ordered the evacuation of anyone within 12 miles (20 kilometers) of the volcano – located around 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) south of Santiago – including approximately 1,500 people living around the village of Ensenada, on the shores of Lake Llanquihue.

The national mining and geology service, Sernageomin, said Calbuco is emitting large volumes of ash, the first time has erupted in more than 40 years.

Traffic jams were reported as residents fled the area.

The evacuation order has not yet been expanded to the nearby city of Puerto Montt, with a population of nearly 220,000.

Calbuco’s eruption is the latest in a series of volcanic events to occur in recent months in Chile, home to an estimated 4,000 volcanoes.

Last month, the Villarica volcano erupted, spewing ash and smoke but was not deemed a threat to locals.

In May 2008, the Chaiten volcano erupted covering the nearby city of Chaiten in a blanket of ash, forcing the evacuation of about 5,000 residents and the eventual reconstruction of the city.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 23 Nisan 2015, 12:14