A Chilean volcano near the city Chaiten gushed lava and blasted ash more than 12 miles into the atmosphere today. This promptly led to a complete evacuation of 4,000 people from the city. After the eruption, rain fell, covering everything in a thick sheet of mud. Fortunately, there is little lava emerging from the volcano, and it is moving slowly at that.
A Photo of an Eruption from a Satellite
The volcano has been erupting for five days at this point. It has been shooting a thick column of ash into the stratosphere. The plume can be seen from as far away as Patagonia and Atlantic Ocean islands. Officials in Argentina have also reported ash fall over wide areas in the southern part of the country.
The volcano lies in the Ring of Fire, which is where tectonic plates of the earth’s crust are constantly buckling, creating mountains and volcanoes. The ring circles the Pacific Ocean. Although this event reminds me of a Tommy Lee Jones movie (which was really bad), the casualties seem to be much lower because of the smart decisions of officials. I only hope that we can learn from this event.