Volcano Erupts In South Chile: Argentine City Hit, Evacuation In Full Swing

A Chilean volcano, Puyehue volcano, of the Cordon Caulle volcanic range in the Andes mountains erupted after 50 years yesterday, the 4th of June. Located about 500 miles south of the capital city of Santiago and standing about 2,240 meters high, the volcano has been spewing volcanic ash for the past two days, prompting war-like evacuation from the neighbouring towns. The ash plume stands at a massive 6.2 miles, as of today.

Check out the position of the crater on Google maps here. Go to street-view on the crater and get a beautiful view.

The Argentine city of San Carlos de Bariloche, just across the border, has been the worst hit. It has been raining volcanic ash in the city for the past day, starting 4:00 AM yesterday, local time. Residents have been asked to stay in. The roads are covered with a thick layer of ash. The sun has been blocked out and due to the ash in the air, visibility is near zero. The airport has been closed down. Residents have been advised to brace for prolonged ashfall and to store up ration as soon as they can go out of their homes.

The ashplume extends 10 kilometers (6.2 miles) into the sky

Evacuation is going on at a tremendous rate and as many as 3500 people have been evacuated from 22 nearby settlements. The volcano is still spewing ash at an unabated rate forcing flight cancellations of many international flights. The whole scene is eerie with frequent flashes of lightning lighting up the dark sky and the intermittent showers of ash and pumice.

The last eruption happened in 1960, followed by a massive 9.5 magnitude earthquake. Authorities are currently on high alert after a series of tremors. The National Emergency office estimated an average rate of 230 tremors per hour.

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Debjyoti Bardhan

Is a science geek, currently pursuing some sort of a degree (called a PhD) in Physics at TIFR, Mumbai. An enthusiastic but useless amateur photographer, his most favourite activity is simply lazing around. He is interested in all things interesting and scientific.