Puyehue Volcano awoke in Chile: impact assessment PDF Print E-mail
Sunday, 05 June 2011 06:18


On June 4, 2011 began an eruption of Puyehue volcano, located in southern Chile, at 870 kilometers from the capital Santiago. Puyehue volcano is located on the Chilean side of the Andes. According to the National service of Geology and Mining of Chile, column of ash rose to high of 10 km, the air is a strong smell of sulfur. The level of threat in the area of the Puyehue volcano raised to a maximum.

The authorities organized the evacuation of about 3500 people in San Carlos de Bariloche. San Carlos de Bariloche - is the famous resort of Argentina, which is located in the Andes, in 1,6 thoUSAnd kilometers from the capital of Argentina. San Carlos de Bariloche annually attracts tens of thoUSAnds of local and foreign tourists. According to the residents of this resort town: "... volcanic ashes strewed on the town like snow in a blizzard." Streets of San Carlos de Bariloche covered with a layer of ash at 10 inches. According to authorities, more than 40 years was not observed anything like that, in the last time the Puyehue volcano erupted in 1960, after the biggest earthquake of magnitude 9.5. Local authorities have closed the airport and a popular border crossing between Chile and Argentina, located on the pass in the Andes. The Chilean authorities have also conducted evacuation of civilians from the surrounding areas. Authorities urge residents to keep calm, do not leave the house, do not open the windows and if possible to refrain from driving directions.

It should be noted, that in Chile are 15% of all active volcanoes in the world, and volcanic eruptions, and not such a rare event in this country. In Chile, there are over 2,900 volcanoes, from small ash cones to large calderas of several tens of kilometers in diameter, 500 volcanoes are weakly active, while 80 are in the phase of highest activity. Of the 80 volcanoes can wake up and start to erupt in the near future. The most active Chilean volcanoes are: Laskar in northern Chile and a chain of volcanoes in central-southern zone - Chillán, AntUKo, Cayaqui, Copahue, Solipuli (Sollipulli), villarrica ( villarrica), Lyayma (Llaima), Lanin (Lanín), Lonkimay (Lonquimay), Mocho (Mocho), Chosuenko (Choshuenco), Puyehue, Antillanca, Osorno, Calbuco, Hudson. The first historical mention of the eruption of a volcano in Chile relates to 1624, when the AntUKo volcano, called in those days Angol, within 8 days of throwing out smoke and lava, and the "land of buzzing, roaring as if the devil himself", according to the description of monks Jesuits. Lyayma volcano erupted in 1640, 1750 and 1765.

Over the past 450 years in Chile, there were more than 300 volcanic eruptions. Sometimes the consequences were terrible: the ashes buried pasture, destroying livestock and crops, lava flows flooded entire towns and villages, burned forests, varied terrain of mountains and valleys, creating fantastic geological structures, which attract many tourists today.

The most dangerous of statistics, was the villarrica volcano, which claimed in 1948, about a hundred lives, and in 1964 the eruption of this volcano led to the deaths of 22 people. This latest eruption devastated the Konyaripe village, two hours razed houses, hotels, and crops, killing livestock and agricultural equipment and cutting off communication with the so popular now resorts in villarrica and Pucon.

Particularly troubling experts is the fact, that the earlier eruption of the Puyehue volcano caused eruptions of other volcanoes, as documented in 1790- after the eruption of Puyehue volcano, began erupting Lyayma volcano. A seismic activity near Lyayma volcano, located in southern Chile, according to the National service of Geology and Mining of Chile- again increasing. A new burst of volcanic activity of Lyayma volcano, located about 700 kilometers from Santiago, says the increased flatulence and a strong buzz that is heard from under the ground. It was so in January 2008, then began the first eruption of Lyayma volcano. Then it was repeated in June 2008. The eruption of the Lyayma volcano in 2008, which is considered one of the most active in South America, from the area were evacuated residents and tourists.

Currently, Argentina Hydrometeocentre predicts, that a cloud of ash from the eruption of Puyehue volcano can cover a significant part of the country's inland provinces, which border with Chile, with the wind direction changes and it can reach the capital - Buenos Aires, but the concentration of ash will remain harmless.

The presidents of Argentina and Chile have agreed to collaborate in taking the necessary measures and assist victims. In the disaster zone delivered drinking water and foodstuffs.

volcanic eruptions is very natural disasters, for example, is currently the most dangerous in the world is the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Canary Islands, the eruption of Cumbre Vieja volcano could theoretically cause a giant tSunami up to 900 meters, with a speed of 800 km / h. West Africa in this case will cover a wave height of 100 meters, the United States - the height of 50 meters, and Britain - the height of 12 meters.

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