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Last Updated: Wednesday May 07 2008 14:25 GMT

Thousands flee rumbling volcano

Chaiten volcano erupts

More than 4,000 people have been forced out of their homes by a volcano which is threatening to pour lava on a town in the South American country of Chile.

Pretty much everyone in the town of Chaiten has been evacuated after bits of molten rock were seen being spat from Chaiten volcano.

The mountain started smoking a few days ago, despite not having been active for the last 450 years.

It has covered the surrounding area in a thick blanket of ash.

But it's not just Chile that's been affected by the mountain.

It's also dumped a layer of ash in neighbouring Argentina, forcing schools and a local airport to close.

Chile is one of the most volcanic countries on Earth, with more than 100 active volcanoes