"Chile Volcano Erupts, Spews Towering Ash Column"

"A volcano dormant for decades erupted in south-central Chile on Saturday, belching an ash cloud more than 6 miles high that blew over the Andes and carpeted a popular ski resort in neighboring Argentina.

Fanned by winds, ash darkened the sky in San Carlos de Bariloche, Argentina, a government official there said, adding the city's airport had been closed.

The eruption in the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain, about 575 miles south of the capital, Santiago, in Patagonia also prompted Chilean authorities to shut a heavily traveled border crossing into Argentina.

Chile's government said it was evacuating 3,500 people from the surrounding area as a precaution. Officials said the volcano was spitting molten rock, but there was no visible lava flow."

Felipe Iturrieta and Antonio de la Jara report for Reuters June 6, 2011.

SEE ALSO:

"Long Dormant Chilean Volcano Breaks Loose" (ENS)

Slideshow of Volcano (Agency Uno via AP)

Source: Reuters, 06/06/2011