Chilean volcano causes travel chaos
(BDCi) – The ashes spewed by the volcano in Puyehue, Chile caused several problems today in international air traffic. At least eight nations were involved, and thousands of affected travelers were prevented from completing their trips. On Monday, hundreds of domestic flights were canceled in Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay, Peru and Argentina.
The Puyehue volcano began to belch ash on Saturday in southern Chile. Rescue teams have closed roads and evacuated residents from nearby areas.
The resulting clouds of volcanic ash pose a high risk to aviation, especially in the ascent and descent of the aircraft. Contact with the smoke coming from volcanoes is damaging to the plane’s engines, which can no longer work with the accumulation of organic residue.
The risk that volcanic ash poses to aviation has some real life precedence. In 1982, a British Airways 747 Jumbo suffered severe damage, and had all four engines fail when it encountered ash from an Indonesian volcano.
By Adriana Lobo
13 June 2011