Tue, June 14, 2011
World > Americas

Volcano erupts in Chile, forcing exodus

2011-06-05 04:26:43 GMT2011-06-05 12:26:43(Beijing Time)  SINA.com

Smoke and ash billowing from Puyehue volcano is seen near Osorno city in southern Chile June 4, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

Smoke and ash billowing from Puyehue volcano is seen near Osorno city in southern Chile June 4, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

Cars travel on streets covered with ash from Chile's Puyehue volcano 100 miles (160 km) to the west, in the Argentine resort city of Bariloche June 4, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

A car drives through a street covered by ash from Chile's Puyehue volcano, 100 miles (160 km) to the west, in the Argentine resort city of San Carlos de Bariloche June 4, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]

SANTIAGO, Chile - The Puyehue volcano in southern Chile erupted Saturday, sending a huge plume of smoke and ash into the sky and prompting officials to evacuate about 600 people living nearby. There were no reports of injuries.

Authorities had put the area around the volcano on alert Saturday morning after a flurry of earthquakes, and the eruption began in the afternoon. The National Emergency Office said it recorded an average of 230 tremors an hour.

On the other side of the Andes in Argentina, heavy ash fell on the city of San Carlos de Bariloche.

Officials warned residents of the area around the city to take precautions against a possible prolonged ashfall. They urged people to stock up on food and water and to stay home.

The volcano is nearly 500 miles (800 kilometers) south of Chile's national capital, Santiago.

(Agencies)

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