Before the ash from Iceland's Grimsvotn volcano has even had a chance to settle down, another spectacular eruption is making headlines. This time around, it is not in Iceland but in the world's other volcano hotspot - Chile. After being dormant for over 50 years, one of the craters of the Puyenhue-Cordon Caulle volcano suddenly came to life on Saturday, June 4th and erupted with a fury, that has not been seen in recent times.
Luckily, the stunning eruption was preceded by a flurry of small earthquakes in the morning, giving officials enough time to evacuate the area. What made the spew that shot more than six miles into the sky, even more spectacular, were the incredible lightning bolts that were mixed in with the volcanic ash and smoke.
While the volcano seemed to have been done unleashing its fury by Sunday, June 5th, it left behind a thick layer of ash that has blanketed the picturesque city of Barilochein Chile and the nearby Argentinean resort town of Villa La Angostura. Residents in both cities and the neighboring areas are being asked to stay indoors as much as they can, in order to avoid breathing in the toxic gases.
Because volcanic ash can cause severe damage to airplanes, several local airports have been shut down and all flights cancelled. Also closed, are schools and many non-essential government offices. And, experts are warning that the impact may spread even further, depending on the wind conditions. The only good news is that nobody was injured!
Chile's location on the infamous 'Ring of Fire' - the arc of volcanoes and fault lines that circle the Pacific Basin makes it very susceptible to earthquakes and volcano eruptions. Scientists estimate that 500 of the country's 3,000 + volcanoes are active. Fortunately, only 50 of them have erupted in the last 450 years.