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Monday, June 13, 2011

Monster Volcano Of Chile

Hell on earth: Monster volcano can be seen from SPACE as it spits fire into the sky

This towering plume of brown ash is clearly visible from space as a Chilean volcano continues to violently erupt.

Captured by specialist equipment on the Aqua satellite, the image was taken shortly after the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle exploded into life after decades of lying dormant in south-central Chile.

A three-mile long fissure has opened up in the Andes as toxic gases and ash belched a cloud more than six miles high across Chile and Argentina.

Powerful: A vast plume of ash is clearly visible from space after the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano in Chile erupted on Saturday

Seismic activity: The volcano chain, which has been dormant for decades, sent a six-mile-high cloud of toxic gas and ash

Authorities in the country have been going house to house, trying to persuade stragglers near the volcano to leave because of an increasing danger of toxic gas and flash floods in Saturday's eruption.

Around 4,000 people have already been evacuated from 22 communities. They began fleeing as earthquakes hit the South American country on Saturday.

But some have refused to leave, staying to protect their homes and livestock.

Chile's verdant lakes region is a centre for dairy farming, with more than 9,000 cows and sheep.

Spectacular: Lighting strikes above the Puyehue volcano, around 500 miles south of the capital Santiago

Danger: Thousands of people have been evacuated from the area over fears of flash flooding and toxic gases

Eerie: The massive plume of ash glows red during sunset near Entrelagos, Chile. It has seen the airport in Argentinian ski resort Bariloche closed, as well as a border crossing

Apocalyptic: Rivers around the volcano site are becoming clogged with ash and debris, which could lead to flash flooding in at risk communities

Deputy Interior Minister Rodrigo Ubilla said around 50 families in the Rininahue area had refused to abandon their homes.

Vicente Nunez, director of Chile's emergency preparedness office, said: 'Everything is prepared with shelter and transportation for them to immediately leave the danger zone.'

North of the complex of volcanoes, the city of Futrono and communities of Lago Ranco and Entre Rios are particularly vulnerable to flash flooding.

People have also refused to leave Mantilhue, along the Rio Bueno, just six miles from the volcano eruption.

Choked: A field is covered in fine ash as the plume of dust blocks out sky

It could almost be snowing: People shelter from falling ash in San Martin de los Andes, Argentina

Shut down: A path at the ski resort of San Carlos de Bariloche is covered in ash

Beautiful: The plume of ash continues to dominate the skyline and experts are unsure how long the volcano will continue to erupt

Scale: The plume of ash has reached as far as the Atlantic thanks to winds blowing it towards Buenos Aires

A group of Mapuche Indians have said they will also seek authorisation to enter the evacuation area to pray for the volcano to stop erupting.

Enrique Valdivieso, director of Chile's National Geology and Mines Service, said the fissure was belching toxic gases and material that could clog rivers and force them to overflow.

Spectacular displays of lighting have lit up the volcanic clouds over the weekend and experts are still unsure how long it will be before the volcano falls silent.

The plume of ash has caused the airport at Argentinian ski resort San Carlos de Bariloche to be closed.

The eruption, 575 miles south of the capital Santiago, has also seen a busy border crossing between the two countries shut.

There are four volcanoes in the chain, but it was unclear which one has erupted because of the ash cover and weather conditions. The chain last saw a major eruption in 1960.

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