The volcano, Puyehue-Cordon Maulle, in the south of Chile is spewing ash and the area around the volcano is experiencing more than 200 earthquakes per minute.
The ash cloud from the volcano has covered the region of Bariloche, Argentina where debris is continuing to fall from the sky.
Links below are in Spanish only at the moment. I will update with English press as I find the news.
UPDATE 6:37 PM ART (argentine time) - Volcano has actually erupted. Evacuation of 600 people has taken place. Evacuation order calls for moving
3,000 3500. No injuries thus far.
News from Chile:
El complejo Puyehue-Cordón Caulle entró en la etapa de erupción. Tanto las autoridades chilenas como las argentinas han subido al máximo el nivel de alerta. Ya hay evacuados. Se registraron más de 200 sismos por minutos. Son varias las regiones patagónicas que están pendientes de lo que está ocurriendo.
The volcano Puyehue-Cordón Caulle has entered eruption stage. Both Chilean and Argentine authorities have increased the alert level to maximum. There have already been evacuations. There have been more than 200 earthquakes per minute. Several regions of Patagonia will be affected.
So far they've evacuated They're in the process of evacuating 3500 people in Chile.
News from Argentina:
Las autoridades de Bariloche alertan a la población y le piden que en la medida de lo posible, evite salir de la casa. Así lo indicó Carlos Hidalgo, miembro de la oficina de Comunicación municipal en diálogo con TN. Además, para aquellos que se estén dirigiendo desde el norte del país hacia la ciudad, le indican que esperen al menos 24 horas para dirigirse. El volcán chileno que está en actividad, está a solo 100 kilómetros de distancia de la ciudad.
Bariloche authorities warn the public and ask that, as far as possible, they avoid leaving their homes. This was said by Carlos Hidalgo, a member of the municipal office communication in dialogue with TN. Also, for those who would be heading north of town, they should wait at least 24 hours. The active, Chilean volcano is only 100 kilometers away from the city.
Hold these people in your hearts folks - let's hope this one isn't a bad one.
2:42 PM PT: Satelite image of the area - you can see the cloud but this gives you a better idea of the location of the volcano and the direction the ash is blowing. -- http://yfrog.com/...
2:51 PM PT: Adept2u has video in his comment below of the eruption. Three of them as a matter of fact.
2:56 PM PT: Media confirmation of the eruption:
Santiago de Chile - El intendente de la chilena Región de los Ríos, Juan Andrés Varas, confirmó hoy la erupción del volcán Puyehue, ubicado a unos 200 kilómetros al noroeste de la ciudad argentina de Bariloche, que desde esta tarde comenzó a padecer una intensa precipitación de cenizas.
Santiago de Chile - The Chilean mayor of the Region de los Rios, Juan Andres Varas, today confirmed the eruption of Puyehue volcano, located some 200 kilometers northwest of the city of Bariloche Argentina, which since this afternoon began to suffer heavy rainfall ash.
3:05 PM PT: Finally a story in English with some background on the volcano:
Within several hours, officials said a large explosion was heard and enormous plumes of volcanic ash could be seen rising from the volcano. The Chilean National Service of Geology and Mining (SERNAGEOMIN) said the plumes have reached a height of approximately 10 kilometers (6.2 miles).
The last time the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle vents erupted was on May 24, 1960, 38 hours after a massive 9.5-magnitude earthquake struck off Chile. Earthquakes can sometimes cause volcanoes to erupt.
3:21 PM PT: http://www.google.com/...
"You can see the fire (in the volcano) and a plume of smoke, and there's a strong smell of sulfur," top Los Rios region official Juan Andres Varas told reporters.
A border crossing between Argentina and Chile was closed.
We're trying to stop car traffic and ask that people stay at home and close their doors and windows to prevent the volcanic ash from coming in. The city's airport was also closed," Carlos Hidalgo, Bariloche's communications secretary, told TN television.
3:44 PM PT: update from Reuters: http://ca.reuters.com/...
A volcano dormant for decades erupted in south-central Chile Saturday, belching ash over 6 miles into the sky and prompting the government to evacuate several thousand residents, authorities said.
It was not immediately clear which of the chain's four volcanoes had erupted because of ash cover and weather conditions. The chain last saw a major eruption in 1960. Local media said the smell of sulfur hung in the air and there was constant seismic activity.
4:01 PM PT: Great site for updating photos on the volcano from DailyDrew in the comments below. Here's the link: http://skylin.es/...
Of course, it's dark here now so I'm betting photos will all be from earlier today.
5:11 PM PT: May not be Puyehue that erupted but a nearby fracture:
Aunque las primeras informaciones señalaban que la erupción se había producido en el volcán Puyehue, fuentes de la Oficina Nacional de Emergencia (Onemi) señalaron a Efe que se cree que la nube emerge de una fractura cercana, ubicada también en el complejo Puyehue - Cordón Caulle.
Although early reports indicated that the eruption had occurred at the volcano Puyehue, sources from the National Emergency Office (Onemi) reported that it is believed to emerge from a broken tag nearby, also located in the Puyehue complex - Cordón Caulle .
5:56 PM PT: It's just about 10pm here folks and I'm headed to bed. Thanks for taking interest and please feel free to add your own updates in the comments below.