Page last updated at 09:58 GMT, Saturday, 3 May 2008 10:58 UK

In pictures: Chile volcano erupts

Smoke and ash rise from the Chaiten volcano 2/05/08

A volcano has erupted in southern Chile, near the town of Chaiten, scattering ash over the surrounding area and forcing more than 1,000 people to leave their homes.

People prepare to be evacuated following the Chaiten volcano eruption 2/05/08

Chile's government declared a state of emergency in the region as ash rained down on homes and local water supplies.

A woman puts a mask on her son to protect against volcano ash in Chaiten, Chile 2/05/08

Emergency workers handed out face masks to help people breathe more easily.

A Navy soldier hands a child onto a waiting boat to be evacuated out of Chaiten, southern Chile 2/05/08

A boat was sent to the region to evacuate hundreds of people, many of whom live scattered on small islands.

Residents wait to be evacuated from Chaiten, southern Chile 2/05/08

The eruption of the Chaiten volcano caught local authorities by surprise, as experts say it has been dormant for several thousand years.

View of the city of Esquel, some 1,900 km southwest of Buenos Aires, after the eruption of the Chaiten volcano in neighbouring Chile 3/05/08

Winds carried a layer of ash into neighbouring Argentina, forcing the closure of schools and a regional airport.

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