President Michelle Bachelet declared the state of emergency following the sudent eruption of the volcano at 9pm (GMT) on Wednesday.
It is the first major eruption of the volcano in over 50 years. Bachelet outlined the emergency reponse to the eruptuion on South American television, saying: “They (emergency security) are going to insist that the people who didn`t want to evacuate, evacuate, and that people continue checking information about the measures of protection.
“I would like to remind people coming to the zone to continue covering themselves. The fundamental risk for people with this ash is that they avoid breathing in the ash.”
As night fell around 4,000 people had been evacuated from a 12-mile radius around the volcano. There are no reports of deaths of missing people, Chile’s Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo said.