Spewing volcano forces more Chile evacuations

SANTIAGO - The Chaiten volcano in southern Chile blasted ash and what appeared to be lava a dozen miles into the air on Tuesday, leading the government to order the immediate and complete evacuation of everyone living within a 70-kilometre radius of it.

SANTIAGO - The Chaiten volcano in southern Chile blasted ash and what appeared to be lava a dozen miles into the air on Tuesday, leading the government to order the immediate and complete evacuation of everyone living within a 70-kilometre radius of it.

Preceded by dozens of tremors, the volcano- until now considered inactive - began erupting last Friday.

It covered about 120 square kilometres with more than 30cm of ash, rendering the air unbreathable, contaminating water sources, killing livestock and destroying all small- and medium-scale agriculture in this rural area.

President Michelle Bachelet visited the area on Monday, announcing subsidies and other aid for affected families.

On Tuesday she convened an emergency committee of government ministers, emergency agency representatives, the director of the police force and regional officials. - Reuters

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