HEADLINE – Chileans living near volcano urged to stay away
SANTIAGO, Chile — Chilean officials urged residents already evacuated from homes near an erupting volcano to stay in shelters and with family and friends.
“We are not ordering you to do anything,” Chilean vulcanologist Hugo Moreno said to a crowd of refuges. “We are merely urging you to stay away.”
About 4,000 Chileans have been evacuated since the Cordon Caulle volcano began erupting June 4.
Chilean officials wanted to make it clear that they are advising residents only. “For example,” Moreno continued, “let’s say that I tell you that a river of lava is on its way to totally destroy your village, if I were to tell you that, and I am not, then I would only be doing so as a courtesy and I would not be ordering you to stay away. You may decide to go there and check it out for yourself. If you are that kind of person, then that’s perfectly fine.”
Chile has more than 3,000 volcanoes along its Andean spine, and 500 of these are considered geologically active. About 60 Of these have erupted in the past 450 years.
“But I do urge you to stay away,” Moreno added. “But that’s not an order. It is just a suggestion that I very strongly make, that you stay away. But don’t stay away if you don’t want to. It’s totally your choice,” Moreno concluded.
The Cordon Caulle is located 620 miles (1,000 kilometers) south of the Chilean capital, Santiago.