A dormant volcano has erupted in southern Chile, forcing authorities to order evacuation of thousands of local residents, the BBC reported on Sunday.
Local witnesses describe large columns of smoke rising from the Puyehue-Cordon-Caulle volcano range about 800 kilometers (500 miles) south of the Chilean capital, Santiago.
The authorities have not received reports of any injuries so far but issued the maximum alert for the area as a precaution and ordered evacuation of at least 3,500 people from the area, the BBC said.
The volcano erupted on Saturday after a series of small quakes for the first time since 1960.
Chile contains a large number of volcanoes but they are not as active as the volcanoes in the western Pacific.
The most recent large eruption occurred at Chaiten volcano in southern Chile in May 2008.
MOSCOW, May 5 (RIA Novosti)