Volcano erupts in southern Chile, thousands flee

March 3, 2015 2:56 PM

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Volcano erupts in southern Chile, thousands flee

PUCON, Chile (AP) — One of South America's most active volcanoes 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. Authorities worried that mudslides caused by melting snow could endanger nearby communities.

The Villarrica 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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