SANTIAGO, Chile -- Officials in Chile are evacuating the area around a volcano that has blasted ash some 20 miles into the air.
Volcanologists at the Smithsonian Institution in Washington say the eruption is the volcano's first in at least 9,000 years.
Authorities have cleared out the small provincial capital in the area, along with a soot-coated border town about 75 miles from the volcano.
The eruption has covered houses, roads and even cattle. People wrapped cloths around their faces and wore surgical masks as they slogged through the mess.
The few remaining residents of the provincial capital were today transferred to two navy ships.