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Chile issues health alert following volcano eruption

Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 01:03

The Chilean government has issued a health warning for people living in the vicinity of Calbuco volcano which continues to spew smoke and ash into the sky. Gavino Garay reports.

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For those on the ground, it's been a spectacle - Chile's Calbuco volcano blowing its lid, spewing ash and smoke nearly 10 miles into the sky. The eruption began on Wednesday...and was accompanied hours later by flashes of flightning. Local authorities have evacuated more than 4,000 people from the area, with crews focusing their efforts on the small town of Ensenada. Though the ash poses a threat to flights and has prompted cancellations in Chile and Argentina -- Chile's President Michelle Bachelete is warning of potential health hazards, too. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) CHILEAN PRESIDENT MICHELLE BACHELET SAYING: "Given that there are around 40 to 50 centimeters of ash, we've made the decision to declare a health alert to all the towns around the twenty kilometer evacuation area." So far there have been no reports of death or injury, but amid this first major eruption since 1961, authorities are taking no chances.

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Chile issues health alert following volcano eruption

Thursday, April 23, 2015 - 01:03