Volcano Villarrica erupts in southern Chile, villages evacuated

Reuters News
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Posted: Mar 03, 2015 4:58 AM

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - Volcano Villarrica in southern Chile erupted in the early hours of Tuesday, sending ash and lava high into the sky, and forcing the evacuation of nearby communities.

The volcano, located near the popular tourist resort of Pucon around 750 km (460 miles) south of the capital Santiago, is one of South America's most active. It last erupted in 2000.

Television pictures showed orange lava and ash shooting into the night sky. Some 3,385 people had been evacuated as a preventative measure, said Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo.

The government was holding an emergency meeting in the presidential palace in Santiago on Tuesday morning to discuss the situation.

(Reporting by Rosalba O'Brien and Antonio de la Jara; Editing by Crispian Balmer)