Geologists are closely watching a volcano in Chile that has erupted twice in 24 hours. Another eruption might be looming.
The eruption from the Calbuco volcano came with little warning, spewing a mushroom cloud of ash and smoke more than six miles into the sky above southern Chile, reports CBS News correspondent Carter Evans.
A second blast, less than 24 hours later, put on a dazzling display, as lightning bolts of static electricity shot through the orange plume of smoke. Calbuco hasn't erupted in more than 40 years.
"We had to rush out because within five minutes, rocks were falling on the house," a woman said.
She was one of more than 4,000 people evacuated from within a 12-mile radius of the volcano, which showered nearby communities with more than a foot of ash on some towns. Officials are concerned it could cause respiratory problems and contaminate the water supply.
"We are hoping that the wind will shift, giving us the chance to begin with the necessary clean up," Villa La Angostura mayor Roberto Cacault said. "We are praying that the volcanic activity will be as short as possible."
The ash cloud is so big, it can be seen from space. Chilean government meteorologists said northeasterly winds are carrying the ash toward the capital city of Santiago, and it's already reached Argentina. For now, geologists are warning people to prepare for a third eruption.