Massive Volcano Eruption in Chile Forces Evacuations
The Calbuco volcano in southern Chile erupted on Wednesday, forcing evacuations and creating massive plumes of smoke over part of the South American nation.
About 4,000 people have been moved away as a 20-kilometer (about 12 miles) radius perimeter was established around the volcano, which erupted suddenly for the first time in 42 years on Wednesday. The cities of Puerto Montt – a regional capital – and Puerto Varas are within 20 miles of the volcano. A “red alert” has been declared for the region due to the potentially high impacts to local populations from the volcanic eruptions. Ash was reported in Bariloche, a ski town on the Argentina-Chile border, on Wednesday night.
Chilean President Michelle Bachelet signed an emergency declaration on Wednesdsay night, while urging affected locals to “remain calm”.
No casualties had been reported as of late Wednesday night.
The volcano is over 600 miles south of the Chilean capital of Santiago.
Meteorologist Chris Bianchi