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Chaitén update, 6 May 2008 6 May 2008

Posted by admin in activity reports, Chaitén, Chile, eruptions.
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A bulletin of 4 May 2008 from the Chilean Government emergencies office ONEMI reported that Chaitén volcano was continuing to erupt ash, and that the eruption plume was being blown towards Futaleufú, i.e. in an easterly/south-easterly direction. In Futaleufú itself ashfall to a depth of 30cm was reported. A further ONEMI bulletin issued on 5 May 2008 confirmed that ash was still being emitted by Chaitén volcano and that while no ash was currently falling on Chaitén town itself, ashfall was continuing in Futaleufú. Many people have voluntarily evacuated Futaleufú (pop. 1,800), often crossing the nearby border into Argentina, while an official evacuation process was due to begin today, 6 May 2008, with the arrival of six buses from Puerto Montt. The Chilean Minister of Agriculture, visiting the affected area with the President of the Republic yesterday, announced that attention was being given to ways in which agriculture in the region, particularly livestock, can be protected from the consequences of the eruption.

Veronica Smink reports for the BBC that the Chaitén eruption shows no sign of declining in intensity and is having widespread consequences in Chile and Argentina:

The incessant rain of ash being ejected by Chaitén has caused air and water pollution for several hundred kilometres around … The ashes of Chaitén have also affected the cities of Trelew, Esquel and Corcovado in the neighbouring province of Chubut, Argentina. There schools, airports and some roads remain closed because of the dense white canopy which began to fall on Friday and continued to affect visibility on Monday.

So far there have been no direct casualties from the eruption, although local media reports said that an elderly woman had died while in an evacuation boat between Chaitén and Puerto Montt on the night of 4 May. This death has been confirmed by ONEMI.

For all our Chaitén coverage: Chaitén << The Volcanism Blog

Global Volcanism Program: Chaitén – summary information for Chaitén (1508-41)
Oficina Nacional de Emergencia – Chilean government emergencies office (Spanish)
SERNAGEOMIN – volcanology information from the Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería, Chile (Spanish)

El Volcán Chaitén Expele Ceniza Durante el Tercer DíaEl Morrocotudo, 5 May 2008 (Spanish)
Chile: el volcán no da tregua – BBC Mundo, 6 May 2008 (Spanish)

The Volcanism Blog



1. Nikky - 7 May 2009

how many people died in the Chaiten Explosion??

2. volcanism - 7 May 2009

No-one has died as a direct result of the Chaitén eruption. One woman died of a heart attack during the evacuation.

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