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. Jazzzzzzzz

    it won't go thru if I spell it correctly LOL

    June 6, 2011 at 6:05 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I know why it won't go through! LOL

    June 6, 2011 at 6:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      It's a swear word isnt it

      June 6, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Cesar The Chorizo Champ Of Chihuahua

    middle of the summer, airconditioner freezes up food going bad in the fridge think i might end up in jail for a good nights rest

    June 6, 2011 at 6:21 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Naw–I want steak as often as possible.
    Before I have to play, I eat chicken: it makes me feel "lighter." Or a club sandwich, which is on room service at almost any hotel.
    I am not good about eating veggies. I like bananas and avocados. I eat very little sugar.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:24 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Great aka!

    June 6, 2011 at 6:27 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I don't know why, but it never occurred to me to build a house near a volcano.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:30 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      @ Joey... WHAT ?

      June 6, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Report abuse |
    • me

      Most people that live near volcanic/seismic zones were born there, they probably inherit the house/lands from their parents and they built new houses and structures, without knowing they're doing it in a hazardous zone.
      Also the great majority of people that do know that's a dangerous zone don't have a choice because of poverty.

      June 6, 2011 at 6:52 pm | Report abuse |
    • me2

      me – that's just asinine. volcanic earth is some of the most fertile land on the planet. that's why people build there. they may not be getting rich off of the land but it provides for them, it allows them a means of income etc. people don't live below a volcano just because they're poor. many populated areas in danger zones are quite affluent. besides, many areas have their dangers that are more often or worse than a volcano. earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes etc. Let's not also forget that these people may not live at the base of a volcano, they can be many many miles away, the ash has the capability of traveling great distances.

      June 6, 2011 at 7:48 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Anita

    What an amazingly beautiful photo. I wonder who took it.

    June 6, 2011 at 6:41 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    "A volcano shows a sample of hell leaking through to the surface."
    –MM, above
    Could anybody really believe that?
    I will be in molten lava?

    June 6, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Part of it is...well, a word they're too prudish to print:
    Bon appeti-

    June 6, 2011 at 7:12 pm | Report abuse |
    • Jazzzzzzzz

      oh, and here all I thought was "Hey enjoy your meal". geez

      June 6, 2011 at 7:32 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ me:
    I was poor too.
    I just looked around and hightailed it out of where I was.

    June 6, 2011 at 7:15 pm | Report abuse |
  11. CSnSC

    @joey IF, quality hotdogs on the grill and homemade chili. Just a co-incidence ?

    June 6, 2011 at 7:19 pm | Report abuse |
  12. PARROT


    June 6, 2011 at 7:21 pm | Report abuse |
  13. CharlieO

    FYI- Chilie dosen't have an Atlanic coast.

    June 6, 2011 at 7:34 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Justine Noelle

    See what happens when you try and pass gay marriage!!!

    June 6, 2011 at 7:53 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ CSnNC:
    That's your dinner, chili and good hot dogs? (Sounds great.)
    That proves that you are psychic. Call the American Society foe Psychical Research (NYC) and volunteer to be tested scientifically. Tell them you're the next Eileen J. Garrett.
    They'll probably put you on salary. NOT!
    But seriously...I love good chili. I'd be hungry again if I weren't so full from torturing slaughtered cows.

    June 6, 2011 at 8:00 pm | Report abuse |
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