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domingo, mayo 04, 2008

Chaiten Erupts

This from Reuters:
Covered in thick ash, the Patagonian community of Chaiten was a ghost town on Saturday as a volcano spewed ash a day after its first eruption in thousands of years forced nearly 4,500 people to flee.

Authorities have evacuated most of the southern Chilean town's residents since Friday, sending many by boat to Chiloe Island farther north and to Puerto Montt on the mainland.

Some are staying in guesthouses, while schools have been turned into makeshift shelters packed with stores of bottled water after a blanket of volcanic ash contaminated ground water.

Only a few dozen people remained in Chaiten, whose snow-capped volcano of the same name erupted on Friday, triggering earth tremors and spewing a cloud of ash two miles into the air. There is no record of the volcano erupting in the last 2,000 years, according to Sernageomin, a government mining and geology agency.

Photos here.

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