S American airports reopen but Chile volcano unstable

Calbuco in southern Chile plays havoc with air travel
More eruptions may occur at the Calbuco volcano in southern Chile, which has erupted twice in recent days. But while it remains quiet, most airports in Chile and Argentina have reopened.
Airports in the two countries closed, due to the worry that the cloud of fine ash that rose 20 kilometres into the air could damage aircraft engines. This included flights to Argentina’s capital Buenos Aires, 1,400 km to the east. Air France, Delta, American Airlines and others suspended flights to the city’s main airport at Ezeiza.
“They were cancelled as a preventive measure, for fear that after landing they might not be able to take off later,” explained a spokesman for Argentina’s national civil aviation administration. Flights were also axed to and from Bariloche, a tourist destination in southern Argentina.
In Chile, the ash cloud reached almost as far as the capital Santiago, where Chile’s LATAM Airlines cancelled over 20 flights south but has since resumed normal operations. Climate experts say the ash cloud is unlikely to spread much further.
On the ground, more than 6,000 people living close to the volcano in towns and villages around the scenic Los Lagos region have been evacuated since the eruptions. But many returned to sweep volcanic ash from the roofs of buildings. Calbuco is considered to be one of the most dangerous of Chile’s 2,000 volcanoes.
BBC / Reuters
[pictured: Satellite image of the plume during the eruption]


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