UPDATE 2-Chile volcano Calbuco erupts again with new cloud of ash

jueves 30 de abril de 2015 14:28 GYT

* Eruption not as strong as last week

* LATAM Airlines' Chile, Argentina flights unaffected so far

* Winds pushing ash clouds southeast towards Argentina (Rewrites throughout with airline comments, interior minister)

By Anthony Esposito and Antonio De la Jara

SANTIAGO, April 30 (Reuters) - Chilean volcano Calbuco erupted for the third time in eight days on Thursday, sending a new cloud of ash and gas high into the sky, although officials said the latest eruption was less powerful than those of last week.

Calbuco spewed more than 200 million tonnes of ash last week, coating nearby towns, wrecking parts of the salmon industry and forcing the cancellation of flights as far as Buenos Aires 1,400 km (870 miles) away.

The volcano has been quiet this week, but geological officials had warned it was still unstable and could erupt again. The new eruption began at 1:09 p.m. (1609 GMT), the government's geology service Sernageomin said.

Calbuco, one of the most active along a chain of around 2,000 in Chile, is in the scenic Los Lagos region, a popular tourist destination around 1,000 km (620 miles) south of the capital, Santiago.

TV pictures showed a thick, grey plume spreading quickly into the sky on Thursday afternoon. It was heading south-east over the Andes into Argentina, said government meteorologist Arnaldo Zuniga.   Continuación...