A volcano is the last place to be nearby when it erupts and after 9,000 years of slumber the awakening is obviously beyond words. Chile’s Chaitén Volcano went off, spewing lava and ash 12 miles high into the air. As if the whole image wasn’t terrible enough, the five-day eruption was accompanied by lightning and rain which carpeted the whole surroundings in 6-inch deep ash and mud.
More than 4,000 people were forced to leave their home town of Chaitén by boat, from May 2 when the volcano showed first signs of an explosion.
A thick column of ash was sent into the stratosphere, streaming across Patagonia to the Atlantic. Officials in Argentina reported they have noticed ash falling in the southern part of the country.
Though the amount of lava that is very small, very thick and moving slowly right now, Government vulcanologist Luis Lara warned that the dangers the eruption may have caused could last for months.
Radiocarbon dating suggests that the volcano last erupted around 7420 B.C., according to the Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program.
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