BREAKING NEWS – The Calbuco volcano in southern Chile erupted again Thursday, releasing a large column of smoke just over a week after it spectacularly roared to life following half a century of inactivity. “As predicted, the third eruptive pulse at the Calbuco volcano has arrived. Red alert,” the National Geology and Mines Service wrote on its official Twitter account. A towering plume of grey smoke and ash rose from the crater, prompting authorities to once again evacuate a 20-kilometer (12-mile) radius around the volcano, where workers and residents had been granted limited access to begin the clean-up effort.

TV images showed thousands of people rushing to schools to pick up their children or lining up at gas stations to fill up their cars in the cities closest to the volcano, Puerto Montt and Puerto Varas.Officials said the latest eruption was less powerful than two previous ones last Wednesday and Thursday, when Calbuco surprised residents of the Los Lagos region by rumbling to life after 54 years of inactivity, prompting authorities to evacuate more than 6,000 people and declare a state of emergency.But the volcano remains unstable, warned the head of the National Geology and Mines Service, Rodrigo Alvarez. MORE