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2/06/2008

Chile Volcano Spits Out Lava, Experts Warn of More

Chile, S.A.
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Columns of ash and smoke rose from the crater, some of them as high as 16,400 feet (5,000 metres) above the volcano.

Chile's Llaima, one of South America's most active volcanoes, belched ash and a nearly mile-long river of lava crept down its slopes on Wednesday as geologists warned activity could intensify.

Llaima, near Chile's picturesque lake region, erupted violently on New Year's Day, forcing the temporary evacuation of some tourists and residents from the surrounding Conguillio National Park.

Wednesday's activity was more subdued, but some tourists still fled the zone even as others were drawn to witness the 0.9-mile (1.5-km) long, 82-foot-wide (25-metre-wide) river of lava spilling down one of its slopes.

Columns of ash and smoke rose from the crater, some of them as high as 16,400 feet (5,000 metres) above the volcano that is located 435 miles (700 km) south of the capital Santiago.

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