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Monday, June 06, 2011

Thousands Evacuate from Chile Volcano Eruption

Volcano erupts in southern Chile, ash clouds force evacuation of thousands

UPDATE 06/06 – 22:20 UTC : People living in the upper Gol Gol valley have been ordered to evacuate their houses as the risk on avalanches is building up. The wind direction changed again and is now blowing to the south-east.  The avalanche danger comes from at least 15 cm pyroclastic material building up in the upper Gol Gol valley. The valley where the material is piling up is approx. 500 square km. If this pyroclastic material would  start to move because of the current rain showers, a destructive avalanche can be  generated.
The current wind direction is the same as when the eruption started.


A huge cloud of ash could be seen from the eruption site of Puyehue volcano near southern Chile.
A huge cloud of ash could be seen from the eruption site of Puyehue volcano near southern Chile.
Claudio Santana -Getty Images

The terrifying eruption of a volcano in Chile has become a dazzling display of nature's raw power.

The blast along the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain launched a huge cloud of smoke and ash as far as 6 miles into the sky Saturday, causing officials to evacuate nearly 3,500 people from the surrounding area.

The eruption was accompanied by lightning that cracked through the ash clouds while molten rocks spewed, though no visible lava was seen.

Winds quickly spread the resulting ash, which reached neighboring Argentina . No injuries have been reported, but officials warned those living around the city to be cautious of potential prolonged ashfall.
Uploaded by  on Jun 6, 2011
And some spectacular pictures for you, as lightning provided a dazzling display of an erupting Chile volcano. It's been shooting out a massive cloud of smoke, ash and rocks up to ten kilometres high for almost two days. Thousands have been forced to flee the area, but there have been no reports of injuries. Chile has around 500 volcanoes considered active.

UPDATE 06/06 – 16:36 UTC : Latest photos in HD from “El Mercurio”, chilean newspaper (with thanks to Juan Perez).  Click here to see the picture series. We are labeling this picture series *****
Raw Video: Chilean Volcano Sparks Lightning
 "We're in a state of alert here; we're not going outside," said Marcelo Ambrosi, a resident of nearby Bariloche, Argentina.

"We saw everything was covered in white, and that it was not snow. It's a bit uncomfortable breathing-wise, like you're breathing in smoke."

The ash, dust and toxic fumes released from this volcano indicate a significant health risk, especially to those with existing respiratory problems.

Authorities also put the region on alert after a series of earthquakes were reported. The National Emergency Office said it recorded an average of 230 tremors an hour.

Chile is one of the most volcanic countries in the world with over 3,000 volcanoes along its length, 80 of which are labeled as active.
With News Wire Services

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