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Chile: Experts warn volcano Calbuco could erupt again

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By Joanna Gill  with Reuters
Chile: Experts warn volcano Calbuco could erupt again

Volcano Calbuco may have paused its eruption for now, but Chile remains on red alert after the mount spewed ash more than 20 km high on Wednesday.

Precautions are being taken as vulcanologists warn it remains unstable and could erupt again.

Over 4,000 people have been evacuated from the immediate area, as the ash threatened to contaminate water supplies and create respiratory problems for residents.

President Michelle Bachelet announced that a health alert had been put in place covering the area around the 20km evacuation zone, adding that they will continue to evaluate as the situation develops.

The volcano located some 1,000 kms south of Chile’s capital Santiago had lain dormant for nearly five decades before erupting twice in the space of 24hrs.

Most of the ash cloud has been blown over the mountains in the north-east to neighbouring Argentina, forcing flights to be cancelled and covering the small town of Villa La Angostura in a thin layer of ash.

Located on the Pacific “Rim of Fire” Chile has the second largest group of volcanoes in the world including around five hundred that are potentially active.