Chile's Villarica Volcano Erupts, Forcing Thousands to Evacuate

March 3, 2015 12:58 PM

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SANTIAGO, Chile — A volcano in southern Chile erupted early Tuesday, spewing heavy smoke and lava and prompting officials to evacuate thousands of people in the surrounding area. The Villarica volcano erupted around 3 a.m., according to the National Emergency Office, which issued a red alert and ordered evacuations.

Villarica is one of South America's most active volcanoes. The 9,000 foot (2,847-meter) volcano in Chile's central valley, 400 miles (670 kilometers) south of Santiago, sits above the small city of Pucon. Tourists flock there for outdoor activities, including hiking around the volcano, which last ha...

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