11 Jul 2008

Chile's Llaima volcano rumbles into action

8:49 pm on 11 July 2008

Chile's imposing southern Llaima volcano roared into action on Friday, spewing rocks, lava and clouds of ash and putting six nearby communities on a red alert, the National Emergency office says.

The 3,125-metre volcano 700km south of Santiago erupted early in the morning, after six months of quiet following its initial eruption on 1 January.

Six communities in the vicinity have been placed on red alert, pending immediate evacuation should the situation worsen.

Llaima is Chile's second erupting volcano this year. In May, the 1,000-metre Chaiten volcano, 100km further south, awoke after centuries of lying dormant.