A volcano in the Chilean village of Chaiten erupted shortly after the statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Patroness of Chile, was burnt in the nation's capitol, Santiago.
In his article "The town that turned to dust" in the Scotsman, published two days ago, Ethan McNern provided an update on the Chaiten volcano with some alarming facts on how it is affecting Chile.
Here is an overview:
-- The ferocity of the eruption prompted a mass evacuation of the nearby town of Chaiten;
-- Little in the town was left undamaged by the devastating power of the eruption, which at its height was throwing a 19-mile column of ash into the sky, forcing aircraft to divert and affecting weather in large parts of the South American continent.
-- The ash from the volcano has spoiled lakes, rivers and lagoons, coated plants in a dense layer of grey and altered the sensitive habitat of animals now struggling to survive.
-- Severe flooding has also hit the area around Chaitén as the fall-out from the volcano swelled rivers and caused them to breach their banks. One of the biggest problems is that the ash mixed with water has turned concrete-like upon drying.
-- People in the Argentine provinces of Chubut and Rio Negro and those in Chile's Tenth Region complained of burning eyes, breathing trouble and tainted water as the ash fell on them.
-- "The Chaitén volcano is continuing to build a lava dome at a spectacular rate, to emit fine ash, and to produce lahars – rivers of mud and debris – that continue to flow through the town," said a Geological Service scientist, Andy Lockhart, who was at Chaitén.
-- The volcano could continue to erupt on a smaller scale for several years, experts say.
Residents from Chaiten are eager to get back to their normal lives, but you don't hear anyone mention reparation for the blasphemous burning of the statue of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, the nation's Patroness.
If I were Chilean, that's where I would start.
Who knows -- the world may witness another dramatic explosion of the Chaiten volcano on July 16, the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. "Qui Vivra Vera."
Read the full story here: