Volcanic Ash Impacts Airline Flights


Chile's volcanic ash cloud was wreaking havoc again on flight schedules in Buenos Aires on Friday (July 08).

Some stranded passengers slept in the airport, while others paid for extended hotel stays, expressing frustration of the situation.

"We have been trying to get back to Brazil, to Rio de Janeiro, for the last twenty four hours," said Paulo Pinero who was back at the airport to find out when he and his family could leave Argentina. "There is very little information and everything is unknown."

"We had to assume the added cost of the hotel because the airlines says that because this is a natural event they can do nothing to reimburse us," he said. "We are here, trapped with a little money, paying the hotel, food, paying for everything."

But even as the ash cloud torments and teases travelers, the Director of Chile's Mining and Geology Ministry, Enrique Valdivieso, said the volcanic activity was decreasing.

"Everything indicates that the lava is leaving and that things will calm down once sufficient energy is released and we should begin to think that this is in a decreasing stage," said Valdivieso.

"It will be vapor and water for the next few days." he said referring to the ash cloud.

A volcano dormant for decades erupted in south-central Chile on June 4, belching an ash cloud that blew over the Andes and which has been disrupting air traffic in South America, Australia and New Zealand sporadically every since.

Chile's chain of about 2,000 volcanoes is the world's second largest after Indonesia. Some 50 to 60 are on record as having erupted, and 500 are potentially active.

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