Pattaya Daily News

10 June 2011 :: 14:06:14 pm 54845

No Way Out Of Argentina

Flights to and from Argentina were grounded on Tuesday as strong winds blew ash into the country from a Chilean volcano. As people hoping to fly into the UK found out recently, airborne ash can severely damage jet engines and the state-owned airlines, Aerolineas Argentinas and Austral, cancelled all flights within the South American country. Flights to and from other countries were also cancelled until further notice.
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Geologists in Chile said the Cordon Caulle volcano could potentially keep erupting for several weeks, leaving Argentina’s usually busy airports deserted.

Local business men fretted as thick soot covered ski slopes in resorts that depend heavily on trade coming in over the winter ski season, and are due to open in under two weeks.

The first major city affected by the ash was San Carlos de Bariloche, which is the closest major city to the erupting volcano. The plume then set North-East before heading East and depositing ash over Argentina’s vast ranchlands before finally reaching the capital.

“Given that even this morning the volcano continues to be active,” said Argentina’s transportation department in a statement, “the reopening of the airports isn’t expected until the conditions necessary for security can be guaranteed.”

Meetings are being held between transportation officials and Argentina’s meteorological service representatives, civil aviation board and airport regulator to try and decipher where the ash cloud will move next and what to do about it.

Although the ash has brought air travel to a grinding halt, non could be seen in the streets of Buenos Aires by Midday on Tuesday.

“The cloud is already in the suburbs and is reaching the capital,” said Jorge Echarran, who runs the emergency council of the surrounding Buenos Aires province. He also added in the local radio interview that it was hovering at an altitude of between 16,400 and 22,970 feet.

More than 4,000 people have evacuated their homes in the close surrounding of the volcano as strong rains increased the danger of nearby rivers becoming clogged with ash and overflowing in flash floods.

The eruption so far is said to be moderate according to Jorge Munoz of Chile’s National Geology and Mines Service but that could easily change. He continued by saying the volcano will likely begin to expel lava in the coming days, along with pyroclastic material that can turn waterways into avalanches of mud and rock, which have the potential to destroy downstream communities.

Written by : Kyle Pala

Photo : Internet   Category : World News

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