Southern Chile remains on alert on Friday as authorities warned of another eruption from the Calbuco volcano. On Wednesday, Calbuco burst into life for the first time since 1961, forcing over 5,000 to evacuate nearby towns. The second eruption came early Thursday, when its explosion turned the sky reddish orange. Ash from the twin blasts covered towns 18 miles away.
Chile declares a state of emergency
The town of Ensenada looked like a ghost town as almost all of its 1,500 residents were evacuated after the first eruption on Wednesday. Calbuco eruption has raised concerns that the ash and dust could contaminate water and cause respiratory illnesses. Wednesday’s eruption spewed a plume of ash more than six miles high.
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Emergency workers and residents were clearing ash that covered the nearby towns following the eruption of the Calbuco volcano. In some places the ash lay up to three feet deep. Emergency workers also handed out protective masks as the huge ash cloud drifted south. Authorities have evacuated more than 5,000 people living within 13 miles radius of the volcano.
However, a few people had refused to leave due to concerns for their homes and animals, reports The Telegraph. Michelle Bachelet, the President of Chile, said that the ash might damage animal feed, crops, people’s health, bridges, roads, and tourism. After visiting the area on Thursday, she declared a state of emergency. She said that health issues were the biggest problem.
The third eruption of Calbuco could be more aggressive
The Chilean National Geology and Mines Service warned that people should be prepared for a third and “even more aggressive eruption” of Calbuco volcano. Experts said that it remained unstable, and could erupt again. The ash cloud was blowing into Chile and Argentina, and forced several airlines to cancel flights. Airlines including LATAM have canceled all the flights to and from Puerto Montt because the ash cloud could severely damage jet engines.
There have been no reports of death or injuries. The only person reported missing since Wednesday’s eruption was located on Thursday.