Today's Coming Crisis Movie

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Ash From Chilean Volcano Craters Argentine Towns - 24th Dec 2011

On a crystal-clear summer morning in this mountainous Patagonian resort, a lone paraglider floated gently above a placid lake shore. "You know, when the wind is blowing right, everything here is still perfect," said Marcelo Cascon, an ex-mayor here.

That perfection evaporated a little while later when the wind suddenly shifted, blowing a cloud of ash from Chile's Puyehue Volcano 55 miles to the west. Some pedestrians in this town, considered the Aspen of South America, covered their mouths with surgical masks or scarves. A thin granular film soon accumulated on windshields and shop windows.

Volcanic eruptions, continuing now for six months, have devastated this city of 130,000 and nearby Argentine communities, which are economically dependent on skiers in winter and fishermen and trekkers in summer. Regional airports have been paralyzed. Hotel bookings are way down and restaurants are largely empty. Several thousand residents have pulled up stakes in search of better prospects elsewhere.

Most troubling of all is the uncertainty over when the ordeal will end. "Your business plan depends upon which way the wind's blowing and what's happening inside of a volcano," said Claudio Roccatagliata, manager of the five-star Villa Huinid Resort & Spa. Read More