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. lakjfldjljfljdl

    you guys are all wackos its not going to end in 2012 it didnt end a couple weeks ago when they said it would at 6:00 pm

    June 6, 2011 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  2. LETSDOITBABY

    2012 IT'S OVER FOLKS! PREPARE FOR THE END BY HAVING MULTIPLE 0RGIES!

    June 6, 2011 at 8:51 pm | Report abuse |
    • zimbot

      You should read what you wrote and think about it. Are you that shallow?

      June 6, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Gadadhoon

      Sounds like a good idea until you look at the people around you and picture them naked. After that it sounds like a really, really bad idea.

      June 6, 2011 at 10:16 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Imagine waking up the next day after the world did not end and have to crawl out of there thinking what the f did i just do. Hey! that should be the plot for Hangover 4!!!!!!

      June 7, 2011 at 1:04 am | Report abuse |
  3. King

    Becarefully thats so dangerous...

    June 6, 2011 at 8:57 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Mearder

    Pictures 4and 5 are amazing
    Nature is beautiful even when it looks and acts angry.

    June 6, 2011 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Chileno

    More pictures (in HD)

    http://www.emol.com/especiales/2011/fotoshd/erupcion-volcan/

    June 6, 2011 at 9:15 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Chris in Maine

    Fantastic photography! These are the best shots of eruptions I've ever seen.

    June 6, 2011 at 9:29 pm | Report abuse |
  7. james

    All these must take place before Jesus christ return. Are you ready to meet GOD: if you are not please be ready by asking
    Jesus to forgive you and cleanse you from sins now.

    June 6, 2011 at 10:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • gabe

      shut up, tool.

      June 6, 2011 at 11:10 pm | Report abuse |
  8. NoodleHat

    Horribly written headline on the main page. It makes it sound like people were living in the volcano, in which case they'd deserve being blown to bits.

    June 6, 2011 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  9. planetevents

    If Yellowstone blows a lot of stuff, will people need breathing masks like the man in the picture? Is it easy to shovel or plow a lot of that ash?

    June 6, 2011 at 10:53 pm | Report abuse |
    • Brad

      If Yellowstone blows, it may not matter what respirator a person has if they are close to it. The respirator you see in the picture could be one for fumes too? A person can buy different canisters to attach to the respirator. They are charcoal filed and some will eliminate vapors/ acids. Best to check by reading the canister label. Chlorine gas is what comes out of some volcanos. I am not sure if all volcanos shoot out chlorine.

      June 6, 2011 at 11:57 pm | Report abuse |
  10. creu duro

    I love much

    June 6, 2011 at 10:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Leila

    "Ring of Fire"...great place to build mega-dams! Check out patagoniasinrepresas.com

    June 6, 2011 at 10:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. mightyrock

    Volcanoes, great lightning, and thunder cause people to run and tremble with fear. Earthquakes and storms causes chaos. Imagine when God the All-Mighty returns to this earth. What will you do? http://www.theeternalwisdom.com

    June 6, 2011 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
    • SalSal Gamboni drank the bong water

      Take a hit off my bong?

      June 7, 2011 at 7:38 am | Report abuse |
  13. John C

    Never mind the people saying the world is going to end 2012. People have been saying that since the beginning of civilization.

    The Earth is a dynamic planet and we owe our evolution and our existence to this. If you took a video of a landscape over 100,000 years, you'd see the landscape move and shift as if it was liquid.

    People are so 'self-important' thinking that a volcano erupting has anything to do with us. Our time on this is Earth is literally a needle in the haystack... And if we continue believing that some being is going to swoop down to save us; eventually we'll go the way of many species before us. The worst side-effect of religion is that few take responsibility for the state of the world today.

    June 6, 2011 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  14. lana

    All the truth can be found at PrisonPlanet.com Alex Jones

    June 7, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
    • Tom

      Lol. All manner of fear mongering can be found there.

      June 7, 2011 at 1:01 am | Report abuse |
    • BREAKING NEWS

      The USGS and the Southern Andean Volcano Observatory (OVDAS) have issued a seismic warning for the areas of Cañete, Maule, and Temuco, regarding the eruption of Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcanic complex. The warning is related to historical eruptions that lead to seismic events and vice-versa.
      http://www.volcano.si.edu/world/volcano.cfm?vnum=1507-15=

      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 7, 2011 at 2:18 am | Report abuse |
    • Marine5484

      lol i rather get my advice from Sarah palin

      June 7, 2011 at 3:16 pm | Report abuse |
  15. Jen

    Gracias Chileno....great link for the pics!!

    June 7, 2011 at 12:03 am | Report abuse |
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