by Adam Dunning June 10th, 2011
As ash continues to erupt from a range of volcanoes in Chile, flights have been grounded across neighbouring Uruguay and Argentina. All flights in and out of Buenos Aires have been cancelled. A spokesman for the airport said ash coming from the Puyehue-Cordon-Caulle range was covering the skies above the city at 29,000ft.
Many services to and from Montevideo in Uruguay have also been cancelled because of safety concerns. A committee in Argentina said it was continuing to monitor the situation, but that other airports across the country were likely to face disruption. According to a spokesperson for the airport group Aeropuertos Argentinos 2000, the ash cloud covering Buenos Aires was now below the height aircraft usually operate at.
Chile is one of the planet’s most volcanic countries. It contains more than 3,000 volcanoes, of which 80 are currently considered to be active. The eruption in the Puyehue-Cordon-Caulle range is the biggest since 1960 when an earthquake triggered volcanic activity.
Buenos Aires is one of the most important hubs in South America. Flights were disrupted at the beginning of the week, but began to operate again on Wednesday. The problems are being caused by unstable wind patterns which are moving the ash back and forth between Chile and Argentina.
Flights coming into Carassco Airport in Montevideo have also been cancelled. The eruptions began last Friday and officials have also become concerned that ash falling into rivers could cause them to silt up and burst their banks. Heavy rainfall has also increased the danger of flash-flooding in some areas.