Saturday, May 10, 2008

Chile Volcano At Critical Stage

Chile’s Chaitén volcano. The plume of ash is thought to generate enough static electricity to cause what is called a “dirty thunderstorm” in the same way that colliding ice particles provide the juice for regular thunderstorms.

"A Chilean official warned Friday that a seven-mile column of ash that spirals from an erupting volcano in Patagonia could collapse, devastating the area।
Luis Lara, a government geologist, said the soaring column is at a critical stage. A sudden collapse would shroud vast areas with hot gas, ash and molten rock and kill anything in its way.Authorities have evacuated thousands of people from the immediate vicinity of Chaiten volcano, 760 miles south of the capital city of Santiago. The volcano began erupting eight days ago for the first time in thousands of years.
Volcanic ash also hung over towns on the Argentine side of the border. American and United airlines canceled all flights to Buenos Aires Thursday night because of the damage that the ash can cause to planes' engines.
Experts said the volcano could erupt again at any time, and it may continue spewing ash for months or years। "

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