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. TvNYC

    Life is boring and I work too much! As for this volcano it is not so normal for all these volcanoes and natural disasters to happen so often. Earth is like a human body. It too breathes like we do and now more than ever The air is not as healthy. It is always stinky where I live. We have to e careful to what we eat (e.g. E. Coli, ect.) earth is having a difficult times breathing the unnatural air we are making from nuclear waste and oil spills, etc. I don't know I'm not a scientist but I really do think earth is going to get sick and than we will suffer!

    June 6, 2011 at 4:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • sushil33t

      lol... the earth breaths? The earth is a hunk of solid and molten rock that couldn't care less what happens to the trees and animals on it.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Student

      Yes, the earth breaths! Nice observation. But I think you are taking the wrong approach when stating the earth is going to boil us alive or something. There are patterns in the earth, and this can be seen with graphs and calculations and all that scientific stuff. The level of Carbon Dioxide, which we over-dramatize as being the highest in our time, has happened before. It was thousands of years ago, but it has happened before. We are in a cycle, and this one just happens to be a bit more violent than usual. Some chalk it up to the Earth trying to get rid of some of our population, which also would make sense. But just because we are in a violent cycle, doesn't mean the earth is about to blow up or something.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • why

      You might have a point, but I really don't think that humans can destroy the earth. I believe the earth is capable of adapting, and it's just doing what it does to adapt. Now if humans can adapt to the changes the earth is going through, that is another question. We might be able to, we might not. Only time will tell.


      June 6, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • pointless1

      We could combine all the nuclear weapons and set them off and not destroy the earth.. sushil33t has said it in a nutshell..

      June 6, 2011 at 4:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • pwrphoto

      You may be a little sick or ignorant. In Chile, near Temuco there is a volcano which is permanently spitting smoke (no ashes). Chile has been having eruptions like this one since I remember, so this is entirely normal. As for big earthquakes, Chile is like a Swiss watch.... Every 25 years they have a big earthquake. So these earthquakes are too entirely normal.

      June 6, 2011 at 4:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • Terry

      The earth does breath. It is call osmosis and it does it breathing through plants and trees. Especially the Redwood trees. Many plant cells perform osmosis. The osmotic entry of water from outside the cell is opposed and eventually equaled by the pressure exerted by the cell wall, creating a steady state. In fact, osmotic pressure is the main cause of support in plant leaves. In other words, the plant takes in the water so it can stay alive. A tree trunk is basically composed of masses of siphon tubes filled with water, but it doesn't have any physical 'fall' component. Instead what the tree uses is the force generated by evaporation. As water enters a leaf it is exposed to the air and allowed to evaporate.

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

      Humans are of the Earth but most have forgotten or been taught to believe they are above the Natural Order and thus not responsible for maintaining Balance for all humans do one the planet. Humans are but one species of Citizens of Earth. Most other species abide by the rules. However, Humans are the only species that pollutes air, water and food supplies and destroys natural habitats of other species. Nature EXPECTS us, the, theoretically, most intelligent species on the planet, to do far, far better than the hack job humans have excelled at. If Humans have failed as the most reliable Caretaker and Balance-Keepers for the Earth then, Earth must – and will – cleanse Itself of the parasite/virus that has caused the Earth to be sick. Unfortunately, the Earth cannot, necessarily, be super selective about eliminating the primary cause, which means, everything will suffer until Balance is restored to the exact specifications of Earth – not Humans.
      The human immune system attacks invaders that enter the body. Humans inherited this function from the Earth, as humans are a part of the planet's complete system. Like beneficial or malignant cells and bacteria, Humans are of the Earth's bodily system and can act as invaders or healers. If there are not enough healers, the Earth must attempt to purge Itself of the malignant invaders, even, at the cost of losing beneficial healers.
      Certainly, it may not be all Humanity's fault and the planet is, perhaps, just resetting Itself or has caught a really bad cosmic cold, as living planets might be apt to do once in a few thousand years. However, the planet may be at it's weakest during this process and humans haven't exactly helped keep the Earth in top physical shape prior to the "millennial flu season." Are there a couple billion Doctors in the house? We need you, STAT.

      June 6, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
    • standingwave

      Please don't get too emotional about this.For one thing,there have been eruptions lasting hundreds of thousands of years.Google "Siberian Traps".Also,while volcanoes are destructive on a grand scale they also provide a mechanism whereby the planet recycles and recreates itself, so they are constructive as well.

      June 6, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Report abuse |
    • Archaeopteryx

      Don't worry, it's painfully obvious you've never taken a geology course. Nuclear spills, oil spills, and the quality of the air do not affect volcanic eruptions.

      June 7, 2011 at 3:19 am | Report abuse |
  2. TEH_HEH!

    They are doing the right thing by fleeing instead of just chilean there.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:22 pm | Report abuse |
    • Blue

      Booooooo! Get off the stage !

      June 6, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • rock

      its funny

      June 6, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Report abuse |
    • :)

      I thought it was funny

      June 6, 2011 at 5:03 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Guest

    Great pictures.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Report abuse |
  4. OK

    From the ashes we can build another day

    June 6, 2011 at 4:34 pm | Report abuse |
    • Pinecone

      "from the ashes we can build another day"...Ahh great Moody Blues song.

      June 6, 2011 at 9:00 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Kuddln

    Awesome pictures... I hope we don't get any after-affects with this volcanic explosion in Santiago, Chilli .... December 21, 2012 ?? OMG

    June 6, 2011 at 4:40 pm | Report abuse |
  6. the Laughing Prospector

    Ha ha ha...burp...ha ha ha...burp...ha ha ha...burp...

    June 6, 2011 at 4:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Sara

    Wow, give that photographer a raise. Those are gorgeous.

    June 6, 2011 at 4:52 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Yeah

    Aahhhhhhhhhhh! We're all gonna dieeee! Turn to Jesus!... lol See how religion works? It's all about fear and extortion.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • montyross

      jesus never asked for a dime...

      June 6, 2011 at 5:32 pm | Report abuse |
    • MM

      A volcano shows a sample of hell leaking to the surface. Jesus said in Matthew 12:40, "For as Jonas was three days and three nights in the whale's belly; so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth."

      June 6, 2011 at 5:42 pm | Report abuse |
    • Yeah

      Well preachers ask for dimes... Jesus asks for souls which are far more valuable than coin. Either way its "believe in me or burn forever" sounds like extortion... keep up with the charade.. your best friend karma is just around the corner and about to pay you a visit.... 🙂

      June 7, 2011 at 1:14 am | Report abuse |
    • Yeah

      Omg!... I just had a revelation... The Jonas Brothers are already in He!! In the belly of the beast and we're all tormented by their presence.. we must be in he!! Too!

      June 7, 2011 at 1:17 am | Report abuse |
  9. beano

    OMG!!! look at all that global warming product coming outta the ground.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:27 pm | Report abuse |
    • Archaeopteryx

      Volcanic eruptions are not a product of global warming. Christ, there can't really be this many people on CNN this ignorant of basic geology, can there?

      June 7, 2011 at 3:23 am | Report abuse |

    Be optimistic – That is so much of construction material falling down. Mix Ash with water and – TATA!!!! You get a great mixture to build second floor on each house!!! 🙂

    June 6, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Benny

    you know what is wrong with people int his country? NOTHING AND NOONE CAN ever be stronger than mother nature. Humans can modified abuse and use mother nature but they will never be strong as her. im sorry humans, but unfortunatly we have to accept that we are powerless when it comes to nature, we have to accept that we are " not god" and there is an immense univers ABOVE US, and underneath our feet. Do you guys smeell what i smell? it smeels like FAILURE. yes we are nothing but loosers infront of Mother nature, and yes infront of god. what is up with this " new tred" where peopel actually believe that their are so cool that they actually popped out of nowehre with no creator, or we derive from a monkey.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Raptor57

      well said.

      June 6, 2011 at 6:06 pm | Report abuse |
    • standingwave

      If "god" wants belief he'll stop pretending we're a bunch of Bronze Age herdsman and simply tell us what he wants.I should think a being able to create the universe and dna could communicate plainly with those he was claims to have created.

      June 6, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Benny

    sorry teh spellling i really dont care

    June 6, 2011 at 5:46 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Brittney

    For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believe in him shall not perish, but have Everlasting life. John 3: 16 .. Please don't reply, you won't get a response. I'm just saying. Thanks

    June 6, 2011 at 5:50 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ lena:
    Don't support the livestock industry?
    Cows make volcanoes?
    I am cooking about 1.40 lbs of steak for my dinner, flavored with basilico and paprika. About a pound is for my dinner, and the leftover part will make a good early lunch after I work chest and back tomorrow morning at the gym.
    I hope you get a good high from telling others that you're better than they because you're saving the planet, as well as being sweet to the cows you don't eat.
    As for me, I'll eat enough meat to balance out your abstinence.
    Enjoy your grass.

    June 6, 2011 at 5:51 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jazzzzzzzz

    Hello Joey! As for me I seem to be edging towards FRUITS AND VEGIES , but a good steak every once an a while is even better when you haven't had it in a while. bone appette

    June 6, 2011 at 5:58 pm | Report abuse |

      The USGS and the Southern Andean Volcano Observatory (OVDAS) have issued a seismic warning for the areas of Cañete and Temuco, Chile, 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 6:11 pm | Report abuse |
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