Villarica volcano erupts in southern Chile, thousands flee

March 3, 2015 12:24 PM

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SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — One of South America's most active volcanos erupted early Tuesday in southern Chile, spewing heavy smoke into the air as lava surged down its slopes, prompting authorities to evacuate thousands of people.

The Villarica volcano erupted around 3 a.m. local time, according to the National Emergency Office, which issued a red alert and ordered evacuations. Local media showed images of the volcano bursting at the top, glowing in the dark amid heavy smoke and rivers of lava.

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