Volcano erupts in Chile

by Parker Lemke

Two massive volcanic eruptions have forced more than 4,000 people from their homes in southern Chile, news sources report.

After decades spent dormant, the Calbuco volcano sent a column of lava and ash several kilometers into the air Wednesday, the BBC reports, catching local officials by surprise.

Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo said there have been no reported deaths from the eruption, which took place in a sparsely populated area, Al Jazeera reports.

The volcanic activity has triggered flight cancellations in Chile and Argentina, leaving thousands of people stranded at airports across the two countries, Al Jazeera reports.

Along with grounding flights, ash from the recent eruptions could contaminate water and cause respiratory illnesses, USA Today reports.

Chile has been hit by drought, flood and forest fires in recent weeks, Al Jazeera reports, and saw another of its volcanoes erupt last month.