In pictures: Chile volcano eruption

The Villarrica volcano in southern Chile has erupted, spewing ash and lava up to 1,000m (3,300ft) into the air.

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The eruption happened at 03:00 local time (06:00GMT) 3 March.

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More than 3,000 people have been evacuated from the volcano's vicinity. The mayor of the nearby town of Pucon said residents had left "calmly"

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The 2840m-high Villarrica is an active volcano with a lava lake in its crater.

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According to Chile's Ministry of Mining, its last major eruption was in 1985 and there have been smaller eruptions since.

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President Michelle Bachelet travelled to the area to assess the situation.

Image copyright AP

The plume of ash reached a height of 1,000m.

Image copyright EPA
Image copyright Reuters

More than 100 people are thought to have died in mudflows on the slopes of the volcano during the 20th Century. 45 people were left stranded by a mudslide that swept away two small bridges over the Turbio River, Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo said.

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Pucon Mayor Carlos Parra said that after 20 minutes, the volcano's activity seemed to have calmed down again.

Image copyright EPA

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