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Chaitén update, 10 May 2008 10 May 2008

Posted by admin in activity reports, Chaitén, Chile, eruptions, natural hazards.
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Nothing new from SERNAGEOMIN so far today, while ONEMI reports that ‘the eruptive phase at Chaitén volcano is maintained, with a continual emission of ashes’ and that the volcano is ‘maintaining ash emissions’.

Within Chile, much of the news coverage of the eruption today has been concerned with the visit of Chilean President Michelle Bachelet to the affected region – her second visit since the eruption began. In an article covering the Presidential visit La Nacion reports that, accompanied by José Goñi, who has been appointed minister with special responsibility for dealing with the crisis, President Bachelet met local people including evacuees from the town of Chaitén and heard their concerns. Among the issues raised was the lack of land communications in the region: ‘it was pointed out that the President had had to use an aircraft of the Chilean Air Force to reach the area’. She also visited the naval transport vessel Aquiles which has been a key part of the evacuation program (information from the Chilean Navy about this ship can be found here), where the volcanological experts currently aboard the ship gave details of the danger threatening the town of Chaitén:

Chaitén could be wiped out in six minutes if the column of ash, gas and incandescent solid material that crowns the volcano were to collapse … if the volcanic material fills the rivers and their valleys it would be impossible to re-occupy the city, which was founded in 1943 and is the capital of the province of Palena.

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

Information
Global Volcanism Program: Chaitén – summary information for Chaitén (1508-41)
ONEMI, Oficina Nacional de Emergencia – Chilean government emergencies office (Spanish)
SERNAGEOMIN – volcanology information from the Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería, Chile (Spanish)
Ministerio del Interior – Chilean Interior Ministry; archive of news articles is here

News
Bachelet visitó comunidades de Alto PalenaLa Nacion, 10 May 2008 (Spanish)

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