‘Chaitén has no possibility of recovery’ – Chilean Interior Minister 21 February 2009Posted by admin in Chaitén, Chile, eruptions, natural hazards.
Tags: Chaitén, Chile, natural hazards, South America, volcanic eruptions
Following the dome collapse of 19 February, the Chilean Interior Minister Edmundo Pérez Yoma has restated what all but a very few already knew to be the case, that Chaitén has no viability and that abandoning the town is the only practicable and safe course of action. His statement has been released through the Chilean national emergencies office, ONEMI.
The Minister pointed out that ‘the collapse of the dome of the volcano would trigger the fall of 30 million tonnes of material which would be displaced into the valley’ and emphatically stated that ‘the situation of Chaitén today is much more dangerous and much worse than on the day after the eruption of last year’. As for the people who insist on remaining in the area, he said, ‘they should understand that ‘they will be in great danger. Chaitén has no possibility of recovery. It was discussed in the past, but not any more. Chaitén has no viability economically, or in security, or in health, or in any way. Chaitén has sadly died’.
When asked if the Chilean government was looking for means of forcing people to leave Chaitén, the minister said that ‘we cannot carry on with people who, either through obstinacy or ignorance, continue to defy such challenging problems as those we face. We will not use any coercion or force anyone to go. The people are big enough, they know what to do. We have asked a thousand times that they leave there. If they stay they do so at their own risk’. He also pointed out that the people remaining in Chaitén were putting the lives of others at risk, not only police and other public officials but also their own children: ‘Regarding the situation of the children, he said ‘we want people to understand once and for all that they are risking their own lives, but they are also risking the lives of their children’. He said that three children were known to be still in Chaitén.
For all our Chaitén coverage: Chaitén « The Volcanism Blog.
Global Volcanism Program: Chaitén – summary information for Chaitén (1508-41)
SERNAGEOMIN – Servicio Nacional de Geología y Minería (Spanish)
Erupción del Volcán Chaitén – extensive coverage of the Chaitén eruption