Volcano Villarrica erupts in southern Chile, villages evacuated
Updated: 2015-03-04 09:52
The Villarica volcano erupts near Pucon, Chile, March 3, 2015. [Photo/IC]
Ash from the volcano was for now well under the flight paths used by commercial airliners, and flights were unaffected, said Juan Carlos Rojas, air transit head at the government's civil aeronautics division.
Following an emergency meeting with police and military in the presidential palace in Santiago on Tuesday morning, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said she would travel immediately to the affected region.
Chile, situated on the so-called Pacific Rim of Fire, has the second largest chain of volcanoes in the world after Indonesia, including around 500 that are potentially active.
In 2011, the eruption of Puyehue sent an ash cloud into the atmosphere that disrupted flights in neighboring Argentina for months.
The government said experts from Sernageomin were flying over the Villarrica area to determine next steps.