Ash cloud rises above Chilean volcano

2011-10-28 17:15

Santiago - A Chilean volcano has sent out an ash cloud more than 5km high, and authorities warn that a major eruption is possible.

Chile's government has evacuated 119 people from the area around the volcano and it says a river is rising as the heat melts snow and ice.

The national geology service says earthquakes are shaking the ground beneath the mountain and a major eruption could occur within hours or days. That could send up more disruptive ash clouds that could spread to the north and south of the mountain, as well as east across Argentina.

The volcano is 1 600km south of Chile's capital, Santiago.

Its last eruption in August 1991 killed an estimated 1.5 million sheep.

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