A volcano in the Caulle Cordon of southern Chile erupted on Saturday, June 4, shooting out pumice stones and pluming a cloud of ash 10 kilometers high and five kilometers wide. Flights in the region were canceled and more than 3,500 people stayed away from their homes near the volcano, which produced an eerie show of lightning dancing through its clouds of ash overnight. This is the third volcano to erupt this year after the Shinmoedake eruption and last month’s Grimsvoetn eruption.
Volcanic lightning strikes over the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcanic chain in southern Chile. (Photograph: Francisco Negroni/Agenciauno /EPA)
Puyehue and Cordón Caulle are two coalesced volcanic vents that form a major mountain massif in Puyehue National Park in the Andes of Ranco Province, Chile. In volcanology this group is known as the Puyehue-Cordón Caulle Volcanic Complex (PCCVC). The volcanic complex is responsible for shaping the local landscape and producing a huge variety of volcanic landforms and products over the last 300,000 years. Cordón Caulle is notable for having erupted following the 1960 Valdivia earthquake, the largest recorded earthquake in history.
Following the end of the 1960 eruption, Cordón Caulle has remained relatively quiet before erupting violently on Saturday after more than fife decades. With the Andes running along its entire length, Chile has more than 3,000 volcanoes, of which about 500 are considered active and 60 have had eruptions recorded over the past 450 years.
Photograph: Paul van Oss
Photograph: Claudio Santana/AFP/Getty Images
People protect their faces from ash in Puerto Madryn on Argentina's Atlantic coast, almost 400 miles east of the Chilean volcano. (Photograph: Stringer/Argentina/Reuters)
Argentinian workers use bulldozers to remove volcanic ash from the streets of San Carlos de Bariloche. (Photograph: Alfredo Leiva/AP)
Residents clean a car covered with ash in the Argentinian resort city of San Carlos de Bariloche, 100 miles to the east of the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle chain. (Photograph: Stringer/Austria/Reuters)
Policemen gather as the smoke and ash cloud grows. (Photograph: Ivan Alvarado/Reuters)
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