Thomson Reuters Foundation

Inform - Connect - Empower

Chile evacuates residents as another volcano stirs

Source: Thomson Reuters Foundation - Wed, 26 Oct 2011 20:21 GMT
Author: Reuters
Tweet Recommend Google + LinkedIn Email Print
Leave us a comment

* Chile hit by a series of eruptions since 2008

* Chile has world's second most active volcanic chain

* Eruption at another volcano in June caused flight havoc

SANTIAGO, Oct 26 (Reuters) - Chile said on Wednesday it was evacuating residents from around a volcano in the country's far south after it spewed a jet of steam a kilometer into the air and seismic activity triggered an avalanche.

However, the government said the Hudson volcano, which lies around 1,000 miles (1,600 km) south of the Chilean capital Santiago, comes in the wake of a string of eruptions at other volcanoes in Chile.

The Hudson volcano last erupted in 1991, melting part of the glacier that sits on the crater and triggering mud flows.

"We can't rule out that this volcanic activity could increase in the coming hours and produce an eruption," said Interior Minister Rodrigo Hinzpeter.

He said state emergency office ONEMI was on red alert and the government was evacuating around 100 residents from the sparsely populated area as a precaution.

In June, a volcano in the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain, about 575 miles (920 km) south of Santiago, erupted. It had been dormant for decades. [ID:nN04119145]

It belched an ash cloud miles (kilometers) high that blew over the Andes, carpeted a popular ski resort in neighboring Argentina and caused havoc for air traffic for months, hurting airline profits. The ash grounded planes as far away as Australia and New Zealand.

That eruption in turn came after Chile's Chaiten volcano erupted spectacularly in 2008 for the first time in thousands of years, spewing molten rock and a vast cloud of ash that reached the stratosphere. The ash swelled a nearby river and ravaged a nearby town of the same name.

Chile's chain of about 2,000 volcanoes is the world's second largest after that of Indonesia. Some 50 to 60 are on record as having erupted, and 500 are potentially active. (Reporting by Simon Gardner, Antonio de la Jara, Felipe Iturrieta, Moises Avila. Editing by Alexandra Ulmer and Todd Eastham)

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of the Thomson Reuters Foundation. For more information see our Acceptable Use Policy.

comments powered by Disqus