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Ongoing Chile Eruption Causes Hemispheric Havoc June 17, 2011
Villa La Angostura
Argentina’s popular tourist destination of Villa La Angostura was declared a disaster area due to the massive layer ash dumped on the community by the eruption to the west in Chile.
A massive ash cloud being spewed by Chile’s Puyehue-Cordón Caulle Volcanic Complex disrupted and even halted air traffic in neighboring South American nations for a second week, as well as grounding flights a half a world away.

Jet stream winds carried a narrow but dense plume of ash across the South Atlantic, the southern tip of Africa and the entire width of the Indian Ocean to eventually reach southern Australia and central New Zealand.

More than 55,000 air travelers were stranded by the ash during a three-day holiday weekend in Australia.

The ash has also contaminated rivers, lakes and farmlands across a wide area of Argentina.

Chilean volcanoes tend to spew more ash than European volcanoes like Iceland's, because the magma is thicker and rises more slowly.

The country’s Chaiten volcano erupted with catastrophic force in 2008 for the first time in thousands of years.

The eruption was so powerful that it shot a vast cloud of ash into the stratosphere.

Chile's Llaima volcano, one of South America's most active, erupted in 2008 and 2009.

Photo: El Mercurio