Puyehue volcano erupts in Chile
June 6th, 2011
02:24 PM ET

Thousands evacuate, ashes spread after Chilean volcano erupts

Parts of southern Chile remained on red alert and schools in some areas of neighboring Argentina were closed Monday after a volcanic eruption coated the countryside with ashes, authorities said.

Smoke and ash shot more than six miles into the the sky when the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano complex in southern Chile first erupted Saturday afternoon. Authorities evacuated about 3,500 people from the area, the state emergency office said.

"I ask all the population (in designated areas) to evacuate as soon as possible, because ... human life could be at risk," said Juan Andres Varas, regional governor of Los Rios, Chile.

In a statement posted on the Los Rios government's website Monday, he said volcanic material and potentially toxic gases were slowly advancing toward the nearby Nilahue Valley.

"Fortunately, the valley doesn't drop abruptly, so we have time to evacuate," he said.

Schools in some cities and rural areas in neighboring Argentina were closed Monday, even as the volcanic activity appeared to have diminished, the state-run Telam news agency said.

iReport: Puyehue volcano eruption

Eastward wind gusts have left a layer of ashes up to 30 centimeters (12 inches) on an Argentinian highway, Telam reported. Ashes had reached the country's Atlantic coast by early Sunday.

By Monday, several centimeters of ashes were beginning to accumulate in areas further north, and authorities told Telam the volcano's impact was difficult to predict.

"We still don't know, because it depends on the wind how it will continue. ... The recommendation to the population is that they stay inside," said Eduardo Munos, municipal civil defense director in Junin de los Andes, Argentina.

Chile is located on the so-called "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines circling the Pacific Basin that is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

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Filed under: Argentina • Chile • Volcano
soundoff (151 Responses)
  1. Istrt

    I don't want to sound like a jerk and I mean well for all the people of Chile but the first image is simply breath-taking.

    June 6, 2011 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • WS

      It is. I would love a high-res version of this.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • blackfire

      yes it is good.. but u do realize its photoshopped to overly enhance the colors..in fact most of the pics are post-processed.. i somehow have issues with that..oh well..

      June 6, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom C

      It'd be even more breathtaking if you were around to inhale that dust. Volcanic dust is nasty stuff.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:47 pm | Report abuse |

      The USGS has issued a seismic warning for a "potential dangerous earthquake" regarding the eruption of Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex and the recent 5.4 magnitude earthquake at Maule, Chile.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Chileno

      More pictures (HD)


      June 6, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  2. banasy

    That's why they post the pictures. And you're right, it is awe-inspiring!

    May the people of Chile survive this with no loss of life.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Kevin Hu

    These photos are amazing. I wonder what types of camera and lenses were used.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
    • ma

      and where can we download them...

      June 6, 2011 at 3:27 pm | Report abuse |
  4. hernan

    They could have pointed out that this eruption closed the main pass and frontier control complex between Chile and Argentina, and resulted in closure of two airports. That's the sort of thing that real journalism might consider.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:18 pm | Report abuse |
  5. palintwit

    British Petroleum was finally able to plug the gulf oil leak by sealing the well with a week's worth of John McCain's soiled grampy diapers. I have a feeling that this thing is going to take about a month's worth.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |

    everyone calm down.. volcanos are like the earth's hiny-hole.. every now and then the earth has to fart... you just have to watch out for when the earth sends out a super shart...

    June 6, 2011 at 3:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Sarah Palin

      I like wiggling around in those wet ones.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:26 pm | Report abuse |
  7. lena

    Volcanoes erupt much more frequently lately. There is evidence that as there is less ice, due to climate change, more dramatic eruptions occur. Please, do not support the Livestock Industry. It is killing our planet and our health. Be Veg 2 Save the Planet.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:29 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bogus

      Livestock industry? Did I miss something here........

      June 6, 2011 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • Really?!

      You spun that story around so fast my head is still spinning!

      June 6, 2011 at 4:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Huh?

      Even Evel Knievel would have trouble with that leap. How did you come up with that connection?

      June 6, 2011 at 4:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Archaeopteryx

      Dude, volcanoes and eruption frequency have nothing to do with climate change (at least, I assume that's the connection you were going for when you mentioned the livestock industry). The energy that fuels volcanic eruptions come from within the earth due to radioactive decay and the heat of formation. The energy for our climate is largely influenced by solar radiation and global warming today is thought to be influenced by human emissions. Climate and volcanoes have two completely different energy sources. They have nothing to do with each other.

      June 7, 2011 at 3:05 am | Report abuse |
  8. Ithaco

    Yeah! But wait until it happens in your back yard. Or mine.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:32 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Jazzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

    $3.99 for Jazzzzzzz Blue Poop specialty ice cubes. Fed Ex shipping included.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:37 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Skyline

    Someone please tell me what the difference is between killing a plant and eating it and killing an animal and eating it. But after thinking about it a little bit, don't bother. I think this each time I here someone suggest tell me not to eat meat. Just let me live my life the way I want to within the laws of this country! I'll raise my kids, do my work and live to enjoy! Got meat?

    June 6, 2011 at 3:39 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom C

      Plants don't scream?

      June 6, 2011 at 3:48 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Skyline

    I eat poop.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:40 pm | Report abuse |
    • palintwit

      It's our favorite here at the Palin residence.

      June 6, 2011 at 3:43 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Cesar in a onesie

    I'm gay

    June 6, 2011 at 3:44 pm | Report abuse |
  13. GOD BOY

    its the end of the world, clearly! RUN FOR THE JESUS SHIP!

    June 6, 2011 at 3:55 pm | Report abuse |
  14. ILL WILL

    Why are people so retarted? Why did I even bother to pose this question? Anyway, nice photos, tragic situation.

    June 6, 2011 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Truthwillsetyoufree

    Awesome pictures...

    June 6, 2011 at 3:59 pm | Report abuse |

      The USGS and the Southern Andean Volcano Observatory (OVDAS) have issued a seismic warning regarding
      the eruption of Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex. The warning is related to historical eruptions that lead to seismic events and vice-versa.

      After the 1960 Valvidia Earthquake (the most intense earthquake in recorded history, 9.5 Richter Scale), Puyehue-Cordón Caulle began a rhyodacitic fissure eruption, with magnitude VEI-2 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index.

      June 6, 2011 at 5:47 pm | Report abuse |
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