Hundreds evacuated in Argentina as volcano erupts | world | Hindustan Times
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Hundreds evacuated in Argentina as volcano erupts

world Updated: May 03, 2008 10:04 IST

Some 1,500 people were evacuated late Friday as the Chaiten volcano in southern Chile erupted, hurling hot rocks and belching clouds of ash into the sky.

The thick clouds of ash that covered the region also spread to towns in the southern Argentine province of Chubut, where authorities closed schools and issued warnings due to low visibility on some roads.

Yet despite the fireworks at the volcano, located some 1,300 kilometers (808 miles) south of Santiago, there were no reports of casualties or damage, Chile's Office of National Emergencies reported.

Interior Edmundo Perez Yoma and Defense Minister Jose Goni traveled to the zone affected by the eruption, and the government of President Michelle Bachelet sent emergency supplies, including protective masks.

The volcano is located about 10 kilometers (six miles) from a town of the same name which has a population of some 7,000. The snow-capped volcano is about 1,000 meters (3,280 feet) high.

"The people being evacuated were mainly the elderly, pregnant woman and infants," the emergency office said.