Impressive eruption at Llaima slowing down

Llaima erupting at night in April 2009.

Brief update for those of you following the somewhat spectacular eruption (above and below) going on at Llaima in Chile. The latest reports indicate the eruption is waning (in spanish) with less ash and explosions (in spanish) being produced. However, ONEMI, the Chilean Emergency Office, continues to keep the area on alert. So far, at least 81 people have been evacuated (in spanish) during the eruptions that gained strength over the weekend and flights between Buenos Aires and Neuquén were suspended due to the ash.

It is interesting to note the apparent lack of english-language coverage of this eruption (although Nature did take the opportunity to continue to drive the point home that, yes, volcano monitoring is not only a good idea, but a money saving one in the grand scheme of things). I suppose the Redoubt eruption has them all occupied, although the Llaima eruption is actually much more captivating so far (volcanologically). If you are looking for more coverage of Llaima, you can also take a look at the excellent reports on the Volcanism Blog.

Llaima erupting in April 2009. Note the prominent fire fountain at the summit and the leveed lava flow on the flank.

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Why spend on volcano monitoring, when there are so many other great projects, like saving GM or AIG. Let's hope that a lahar doesn't come flying down Mt. Rainier any time soon.

BTW, great blog. I know nothing about geology, but I've spent hours reading every one of your articles. Thanks.