Chile volcano eruption can be seen from Argentina

World Today

AFP /GIORDANA SCHMIDT

Twin blasts from the Calbuco volcano in southern Chile sent vast clouds of ash into the sky on Thursday, increasing concerns that it could contaminate water, cause respiratory illnesses and ground flights.

Chile volcano erupts

Chile volcano erupts

Twin blasts from the Calbuco volcano in southern Chile sent vast clouds of ash into the sky on Thursday, increasing concerns that it could contaminate water, cause respiratory illnesses and ground flights.

Evacuations after Chile volcano eruption

Evacuations after Chile volcano eruption

The Calbuco volcano erupted in Southern Chile causing thousands to evacuate.

Chile’s National Emergency Office ordered a 20km radius evacuation and flights over the volcano zone were suspended.

The volcano erupted on Wednesday afternoon for the first time in more than four decades, then had another outburst early Thursday.

Authorities have evacuated 4,000 people and closed access to the area around the volcano, which lies near the cities of Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt, some 1,000 kilometres (620 miles) south of Santiago.

Airlines cancelled flights to and from both cities because airborne ash can damage jet engines.

President Michelle Bachelet declared a state of emergency, saying the eruption of Calbuco is “more serious and unpredictable” than the one last month at the Villarica volcano, which also forced the evacuation of thousands.

The 6,500 foot (2,000-meter) Calbuco last erupted in 1972 and is considered one of the top three most potentially dangerous among Chile’s 90 active volcanos.

LATAM airlines cancelled flights to and from Puerto Montt because airborne ash can severely damage jet engines.

In 2011, a volcano in the Caulle Cordon of southern Chile erupted violently, forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights and the evacuation of more than 3,500 people. Stiff winds blew ash, and the thick abrasive soot coated slopes in the sky resort city of San Carlos de Bariloche, over the border in Argentina.

Story compiled with information from The Associated Press.