More than 3000 people had to be evacuated from areas surrounding Volcano Villarrica in southern Chile on Tuesday morning, when the mountain burst into life with a spectacular eruption. Jillian Kitchener reports.
From the air, southern Chile's Volcano Villarrica appeared calm by daylight Tuesday. Just hours earlier, it was a dramatically different situation. At around 3 AM, the volcano burst into life, spewing plumes of ash and rock nearly two miles into the sky. Although the initial eruption was short-lived, more than 3000 people were evacuated from nearby communities, including anxious tourists. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) UNIDENTIFIED TOURIST EVACUATED FROM THE AREA, SAYING: "It was very scary, very frightening. We already had the whole family ready. We had everything ready in case this happened. We actually evacuated in six minutes." Tourists and residents rushed to safer ground as Chile's President Michelle Bachelet, who arrived after dawn, called for calm. Located south of Santiago, Villarrica is one of South America's most active volcanos. And while this latest eruption caused alarm among locals, national geological service says a major lava flow is not expected.