Chile volcano erupts, spews towering ash column

By REUTERS
June 5, 2011 04:20

 
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SANTIAGO - A volcano dormant for decades erupted in south-central Chile on Saturday, belching an ash cloud more than 6 miles (10 km) high that blew over the Andes and carpeted a popular ski resort in neighboring Argentina.

The eruption in the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain, about 575 miles (920 km) south of the capital, Santiago, in Patagonia also prompted Chilean authorities to shut a heavily traveled border crossing into Argentina.

Chile's government said it was evacuating 3,500 people from the surrounding area as a precaution. Officials said the volcano was spitting molten rock, but there was no visible lava flow.

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