A volcano which has been dormant for decades has erupted in south-central Chile, forcing the evacuation of thousands of residents. According to the reports, most of the citizens in 22 settlements about more than 3,500 people near the Puyehue - Cordon Caulle volcanic complex evacuated when the eruption began on Saturday afternoon. Now they are staying in government shelters or friends' homes. However, some decided not to evacuate because they did not want to leave their animals behind.
Local residents said the smell of sulfur was full in the air and there was constant seismic activity. More than 10 small earthquakeshad happened in the region before the eruption of the volcano of Puyehue - Cordon - Caulle clusters started. Officials announced that Southern Chile was on a red alert - the highest warning level. As a result, Bariloche authorities shut down the airport. Moreover, wind carried ash across the Andes into neighbouring Argentina until Sunday afternoon, so the border between two countries has been closed.
Dark smoke from the Puyehue - Cordon - Caulle volcano since over 50 years dormancy, about 800km (500 miles) south of the capital Santiago
A volcano in the Caulle Cordon of southern Chile erupted for a second day, creating a cloud of ash six miles (10 kilometers) high and three miles (five kilometers) wide
Chilean Air Force releases the picture of gray smoke rising from the Puyehue
A woman is evacuated from the village of Rininahue with authorities' help on June 5, 2011
Local residents wear masks to protect themselves from some ash of the volcano
Chile's military helicopter is flying over the smoke of the volcano Puyehue on June 5, 2011
Ashes across the Andes into neighbouring Argentina on Sunday afternoon
A worker is ironing volcanic ash on the streets of the city of San Carlos de Bariloche, Southern Argentina on Sunday June 5, 2011
A man is removing volcanic ash from his roof in San Carlos de Bariloche, southern Argentina on Sunday June 5, 2011
A car is filled with ashes after Chile's Puyehue volcano in San Carlos de Bariloche, southern Argentina
Chile Volcano Eruption erupts after decades of dormancy