Ash from the Chilean volcano Calbuco, which erupted without warning this week, reached as far as southern Brazil on Saturday and prompted some airlines to cancel flights to the capitals of Chile, Argentina and Uruguay.

Calbuco, considered one of the most dangerous along Chile’s chain of around 2,000 volcanoes, erupted twice in 24 hours on Wednesday and Thursday, sending up a spectacular 17-km-high (11 miles) cloud and coating nearby towns in a thick layer of gray ash.

Authorities have set up a 20-km (12 mile) cordon around Calbuco, in the scenic Los Lagos region, around 1,000 km (620 miles) south of the capital Santiago, evacuating more than 6,500 locals.

“The dangerous nature of volcanic activity like this plus the volcano’s current instability that could lead to more intense activity in the short term indicates we should maintain the perimeter,” Chile’s national office of emergency said in its latest report.

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