World Bulletin / News Desk
A column of ash and rock particles shot up to 3 km (nearly 2 miles) into the sky overnight. Although the initial violent eruption was short-lived, intermittent clouds of steam and gas continue to issue from the volcano.
A major lava flow is not expected, said Luis Lara, head of national geological service Sernageomin on Tuesday morning, but that could change.
"After an eruptive pulse, which was pretty intense but very short at 3 am (0600 GMT), the volcanic system remains unstable and it is possible that something similar could occur again in the next few hours," he said.
Some 3,385 people had been evacuated as a preventative measure, said Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo. There were no reports of any injuries.
Ash from the volcano was for now well under the flight paths used by commercial airliners, and flights were unaffected, said Juan Carlos Rojas, air transit head at the government's civil aeronautics division.
Following an emergency meeting with police and military in the presidential palace in Santiago on Tuesday morning, Chilean President Michelle Bachelet said she would travel immediately to the affected region.
RIM OF FIRE
In 2011, the eruption of Puyehue sent an ash cloud into the atmosphere that disrupted flights in neighboringArgentina for months.
Over 2,000 people were evacuated from Pucon, which normally serves as a center for hotels and adventure tourism, including dozens who climb snowcapped Villarrica every day.
"The volcano is quiet now, very calm. You wouldn't know anything had happened," he said. Tourists were trying to leave but locals didn't seem worried, he added.Güncelleme Tarihi: 03 Mart 2015, 16:25