Pumice-Covered Patagonian Lake

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Chile's Chaiten Volcano erupts in 2008

Chile's Chaiten Volcano erupting in 2008. Image courtesy UPI Photo/Carlos Gutierrez


Bariloche, Argentina. For the past several weeks Chile’s Puyehue volcano has been spewing immense amounts of ash, disrupting air traffic throughout the Southern Hemisphere and causing havoc locally.  My good friends, Rodolfo Werner and Virginia Gascon – both consultants for Pew Environment Group, live only 100km from the volcano in Bariloche, Argentina.  Their hometown has been covered in ash and sand, and they’ve largely been stuck indoors, with a dreary winterland of devastation surrounding them.  Virginia forwarded this clip from YouTube today showing mats of pumice rock floating on a local lake – Lago Nahuel Huapi.  Take a look, it’s impressive.

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4 Responses to “Pumice-Covered Patagonian Lake”

  1. Maria Montoreano says:

    That is so strange looking and sad. I’ve never seen anything like it. What is the situation there now?

  2. Virginia says:

    Hi Maria!

    The volcano is still active. The volcanic ash is falling mainly on the Argentinean side of the Andes, affecting towns like Villa La Angostura and Bariloche greatly. Many days visibility is bad and most of the days the ash irritates eyes and throats.

    Depending on the wind, the ash can also reach the Atlantic coast. This week, it reached Buenos Aires where international flights were temporalily canceled.

    I believe you speak Spanish. If so you may enjoy something I wrote on my own blog about how this is affecting our mood in Bariloche:

    http://lahabitaciondevirginia.blogspot.com/2011/10/dias-de-ceniza.html

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