Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

IN THE PAPERS

NETANYAHU SAYS GAZA OPERATION WILL NOT END QUICKLY

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Argentina braced for another debt default

Read more

AFRICA NEWS

Ebola virus : Liberia shuts most border points

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

"What would you do?"

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine (part 2)

Read more

DEBATE

Too Late for Sanctions? Pressure Mounts on Russia over Ukraine

Read more

FOCUS

As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

Read more

#TECH 24

Internet of Things

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - July 25th, 2014 (part 2)

Read more

  • Israeli strikes target symbols of Hamas power

    Read more

  • US says Russia violated arms treaty by testing cruise missile

    Read more

  • Argentina in last-ditch effort to avert default

    Read more

  • Libya oil tanker fire blazes out of control

    Read more

  • In pictures: From Gaza to Mosul, bittersweet end of Ramadan for Muslims

    Read more

  • France offers asylum to Iraqi Christians

    Read more

  • Moroccan police arrest French al-Qaeda recruiter

    Read more

  • Israel warns of ‘prolonged’ campaign in Gaza

    Read more

  • French mayor files complaint against US father who risked kids’ lives on Mont Blanc

    Read more

  • French footballer Griezmann headed to Atletico Madrid

    Read more

  • Luc Besson’s sci-fi thriller ‘Lucy’ tops US box office

    Read more

  • Video: Slaviansk mourns mass grave victims

    Read more

  • France honours those lost on Air Algérie Flight AH5017

    Read more

  • Video: Ethiopia turns to wine to boost image, economy

    Read more

  • Thousands gather in Marseille in support of Israel

    Read more

  • As France’s Carrefour pulls out, what next for India’s retail market?

    Read more

  • Liberia tightens border controls to curb Ebola outbreak

    Read more

Americas

Chilean volcano ash disrupts South American air travel

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2011-06-10

An ash cloud from Chile's Puyehue volcano forced airports in South America to ground hundreds of planes Thursday, with no flights allowed in or out of Argentina's capital Buenos Aires and nearly all travel through Uruguay's capital Montevideo halted.

AFP - The vast ash cloud spewing from Chile's Puyehue volcano caused major disruption to South American air travel on Thursday, grounding hundreds of flights and upsetting regional diplomacy.

All flights in and out of the Argentine capital were halted, as well as most arriving or departing the Uruguayan capital Montevideo, forcing President Jose Mujica to postpone a Buenos Aires meeting with his Argentine counterpart.

As the travel misery intensified, organizers were also forced to delay Friday's first annual meeting in Buenos Aires of finance ministers from the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) regional bloc. No new date was set.

"Humans make plans, but God has the final word," Mujica, the Uruguayan leader, said on his weekly radio program.

The volcano, which rumbled to life on Saturday for the first time since 1960, is high in the Andes mountains, 870 kilometers (540 miles) south of the Chilean capital Santiago, near the border with Argentina.

Winds have spread the ash across much of southern Argentina, threatening to hurt tourism at the start of the winter ski season, as well as into Uruguay and southern Brazil, where airlines suspended flights "at least" until Friday.

Chilean volcano monitors said Puyehue was belching ash columns that reached nearly 7.5 kilometers (4.6 miles) into the sky.

A Buenos Aires aviation official said the ash was some 9,000 meters (29,000 feet) above the Argentine capital, adding that planes generally fly at 10,000 meters (33,000 feet).

Volcanic ash "is very dangerous, very abrasive for plane engines, and could result in very serious complications," warned Argentine Transportation Secretary Juan Pablo Schiavi.

At Jorge Newbery International Airport in Buenos Aires, some travelers were clearly beginning to despair, while others waited anxiously for loved ones.

"I'm waiting for my mother to arrive from Chile. She's 90 years old and probably alone in Santiago," Ana Adelardi told AFP.

One man, standing forlornly next to his wife and their baggage, said they were heading to Salta in northern Argentina for their first vacation.

"We've already paid for everything and our time is running out," he added.

The first flight cancellations came on Tuesday, but the resumption of many routes on Wednesday had raised hopes that things would return to normal. Officials on Thursday sounded a more pessimistic note.

Most air terminals in central and southern Argentina will remain closed "until there is a guarantee that they can operate safely," read a government statement, as a fine coat of ash blanketed much of the Argentine capital.

Authorities in the Uruguayan capital Montevideo warned that visibility would be "significantly reduced" at least until early Friday.

"The current projection... is that the cloud of volcanic ash will be with us all day," Meteorology and Aeronautics Office director Laura Vanoli told local radio.

While ruling out any "significant effect on human health," the Health Ministry advised "caution" from people with respiratory allergies, telling them to limit outdoor activities.

It warned of severe irritation, reversible airway obstruction and ocular mucosa, especially in people with chronic conditions like asthma, COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), bronchitis and conjunctivitis.

The bucolic Argentine resort town of Villa La Angostura, just 40 kilometers (25 miles) from the volcano, was buried under more than 20 centimeters (eight inches) of ash, enough to knock down power lines and clog water pipes.

Close to the Chilean border, in the town of El Rincon, pensioner Ruben Monsalve refused to leave his home.

"Every day I feel a bit of movement" from seismic activity, he said. "But why get scared if I'm inside my house?"

Most of his neighbors fled days ago.

The eruption forced the Argentine ski resort town Bariloche, located some 100 kilometers (62 miles) from the volcano, to declare a state of emergency and close its airport.

Nearby, police rescued 16 people, including park rangers, trainee park rangers and tourists from picturesque Nahuel Huapi Lake after they became trapped on Victoria Island by volcanic debris.
 

Date created : 2011-06-10

  • CHILE

    Volcano prompts mass evacuation

    Read more

COMMENT(S)