May 6, 2008 / 5:29 PM / 11 years ago

FACTBOX-Some facts about Chile's volcanoes

May 6 (Reuters) - A volcano dormant for thousands of years is erupting in the remote South American region of Patagonia, coating nearby towns in ash and forcing emergency evacuations — the latest in a host of eruptions in Chile over the years.

Following are some facts about Chile’s volcanoes.

* There are 2,000 volcanoes in Chile, more than 500 of which experts say are potentially active.

* Around 60 volcanoes in Chile have been recorded to have erupted over the past 450 years, and experts say around 40 could begin to do so in the future.

* Chile has the world’s second most active string of volcanoes after Indonesia.

* The country is home to two of Latin America’s most active volcanoes: Villarica and Llaima.

* Llaima erupted on New Year’s Day, spewing ash and molten lava and forcing dozens of tourists and staff to evacuate a wilderness park.

* Patagonia’s volcanoes have traditionally been less active than those further north but the region, which cuts across Chile and Argentina, is home to towering snow-capped peaks and glaciers. Source: Chile’s National Geology and Mining Service. (Reporting by Antonio de la Jara and Juana Casas in Santiago, Writing by Simon Gardner; Editing by Kieran Murray)




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