State Of Emergency Declared As Calbuco Volcano Erupts For First Time Since 1972
Chile’s Calbuco volcano has erupted for the first time in 43 years, prompting an evacuation of at least 4,000 people.
The volcano, which has been inactive since 1972, spilled a huge ash cloud into the skies above southern Chile before a second eruption hours later.
No injuries were reported, but a 21-year-old hiker remains missing.
In the wake of the eruption the National Mining and Geological Service issued a high alert and banned access to surrounding areas.
Close to the cities of Puerto Varas and Puerto Montt, the volcano is around 620 miles south of the capital Santiago.
President Michelle Bachelet has declared a state of emergency.
She described the eruption as “more serious and unpredictable” than the eruption of Chile’s Villarica volcano,which forced the evacuation of thousands last month.
“The ash might damage crops, animal feed, bridges, roads, people’s work routines, tourism and especially their health,” she said.
There are concerns the ash could contaminate the water and cause respiratory illnesses.
Alejandro Verges, a regional emergency director of the Los Lagos region, said the eruption was unexpected.
“For us it was a surprise,” he said.
Calbuco is 6,500ft-tall and is considered one of Chile’s top three most dangerous volcanoes.
The country has around 90 active volcanoes.
Courtesy of Sky News