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Puyehue Ash: Patagonia Declared a Disaster Area

Posted by feww on July 5, 2011

Patagonia mountain in SW Argentina has been declared a disaster area due to Puyehue ash

Argentine government has declared the Patagonia mountain range in SW Argentina an environmental disaster area because of the millions of tons of volcanic ash from Puyehue eruption that have blanketed the entire region.

The country’s air travel and tourism industries have been severely affected by the ongoing eruption that began on June 4.

The skiing resort city of Bariloche and Villa La Angostura in the Andean mountains have been among the hardest hit areas, with the airports in both cities remaining shut since the eruption began.

The two provinces of Rio Negro and Neuquen, located at the northern edge of Patagonia, have also been declared as disaster areas due to loss of livestock, crops and severe damage.

Some 4,300 Chileans who were forced to evacuate after the eruption were allowed to return to their homes on Sunday, reports said.

“In a speech broadcast on national television, Kirchner said $2.41 billion [pesos, or about 600million dollars] would also be awarded to 1,400 farmers and businesses in the affect area on the condition that they don’t fire their workers.” AFP reported.

However, the border crossing between Chile and Argentina at Cardenal Samore remains closed because large sections of the road on both sides of the crossing are buried under a thick layer of volcanic debris.


Movement of volcanic ash clouds from Puyehue-Cordon Caulle Eruption between 5 and 12 June, 2011. Credit: NOAA and EUMETSAT

Puyehue eruption has forced thousands of flight cancellations in Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, Paraguay and Uruguay and, causing major disruptions in air travel throughout the Southern Hemisphere.

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