Windblown Ash From Puyehue-Cordn Caulle Chile
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Windblown Ash From Puyehue-Cordón Caulle (Chile)

October 24, 2011
A broad plume of volcanic ash from Puyehue-Cordón Caulle blew thousands of kilometers across South America in mid-October, 2011. The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) aboard the Terra satellite captured this true-color image on October 16, 2011.

Chile’s Puyehue-Cordón Caulle complex began to erupt on June 4, and has been sporadically generating ash clouds ever since. The Global Volcanism Program reported that white plumes rose from the volcano on October 9 and October 10. Another large ash cloud was reported by local news sources on October 16, the day this image was captured. The light gray smoke plume contrasts with the bright white clouds above them, and both are being blown eastward by the prevailing wind.

The windblown ash delayed or cancelled many flights due to the risk of engine damage from volcanic ash. The Bariloche airport had been scheduled to close for maintenance at the end of October, but after the flight cancellations, the airport closed until December. Many airlines began resuming flights to Argentina and Uruguay by October 18, although some, such as Aerolineas Argentinas and Austral airlines were waiting for conditions to improve before resuming flights.

The Buenos Aires Herald reported that Bariloche and other smaller southern towns suffered power outages, likely due to the moist ash clinging to the electrical lines. It was also reported that several roads were closed by authorities due to poor visibility as ash continued to fall.

Credit: Jeff Schmaltz, MODIS Land Rapid Response Team, NASA GSFC

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