July 3, 2018 / 4:09 PM / 2 years ago

Volcanic complex in Chile's south could erupt within days: government

SANTIAGO (Reuters) - A cluster of volcanoes known as the Nevados de Chillan in southern Chile could erupt within “days or weeks,” according to the country’s national emergency office.

The office, Onemi, issued an orange alert for risk of eruption, the second most serious alert for volcanos, in an advisory late on Monday. The agency had previously warned that the complex could erupt within “weeks or months.”

The cluster of volcanoes, located 380 kilometers (235 miles) south of Santiago in the Andes mountains, has seen an increase in activity in recent months.

The nearest towns are located in the western area of the Nevados de Chillan, including popular ski resorts. Chile´s military stands ready to assist evacuations in the event of an eruption.

The volanic cluster, with 17 craters, recorded its last activity in 2016. Its biggest eruption was in 1973.

Chile has the second largest and most active volcanic chain in the world, behind Indonesia.

Reporting by Antonio De la Jara; Writing by Cassandra Garrison; Editing by Frances Kerry

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