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Calbuco volcano of Chile erupted after 42 years

Apr 28, 2015 16:20 IST

Calbuco volcano of Chile erupted twice on 22 April and 23 April 2015 after 42 years. Tonnes of ash rained down following two volcanic eruptions leading to declaration of state of emergency by President Michelle Bachelet.

When it first erupted on 22 April 2015, it produced a column of ash extending to more than 49000 feet into the sky. The scientists called for an evacuation zone of 12.5 miles.

A second explosive eruption began on 23 April 2015 and lasted for at least six hours. During this time an average of 150 earthquakes were recorded per hour. This eruption also produced a similar-sized column of ash, which drifted north, northeast and east of the volcano.

The eruption forced the evacuation of more than 6000 people. The height of the volcanic ash emitted triggered concerns that the dust could contaminate water, trigger respiratory illnesses and halt more flights.

The short-term dangers related to the ash include eye and skin infections as well as water contamination.

The 6500 foot Calbuco last erupted in 1972 and is considered one of the top three most potentially dangerous among Chile's 90 active volcanoes.

Calbuco Volcano

Calbuco is a stratovolcano in southern Chile, located southeast of Llanquihue Lake and northwest of Chapo Lake, in the Los Lagos Region. The volcano and the surrounding area are protected within Llanquihue National Reserve. It is a very explosive andesite volcano whose lavas usually contain 55 to 60% silicon dioxide (SiO2).

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