Saturday, May 03, 2008

Chaitén Volcano, Chile - John Seach

Chaitén volcano in southern Chile erupted yesterday for the first time in over 9000 years. The volcano is located 10 km NE of the town of Chaitén on the Gulf of Corcovado. The government evacuated as many as 1,500 people from nearby villages and the town of Chaiten when the volcano erupted ash, and more than 60 earthquakes were recorded. Officials distributed fresh water and more than 10,000 protective masks. Winds also carried ash over the Andes to Argentina, where school was suspended in the popular Patagonian tourist towns of Esquel and Trevelin. Authorities there also declared a state of alert on major highways as falling ash reduced visibility, and hospitals reported an patients complaining of eye irritation. Trucks with drinking water were being sent to the area after ash affected water supplies, local authorities said. School classes were suspended in some areas.
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