Notebooks from a trampfest. Travel tips, tales and images, online since 2006.

Chile’s Chaitén Volcano Aftermath, Five Years Later, Revisited

Three years ago today I visited the Patagonian town of Chaitén, Chile, five years after it drowned in a river of volcanic ash. Much of it still looked the image above.

I posted in more detail about the visit here while in Chaitén but in brief:

In May 2008 the Chaitén Volcano, located about 1,200 kilometers south of Santiago, woke from a 9,370-year slumber. It’s primary eruption lasted about a month; at its peak activity it blew a column of ash and gas nearly 31 kilometers into the sky and spewed ash as far as Buenos Aires, 2,000 kilometers away.

Half of the town of Chaitén, which sits 10 kilometers to the southwest, was destroyed. Most of the damage came after the main eruption when the Blanco River, swollen with rain and volcanic material, flooded its banks. The river has since been rerouted and five years later, considerable damage remains, rendering parts of Chaitén a seaside ghost town.

A few more images taken over the course of the same day.

Beachfront, Chaiten, Chile. The Gulf of Corcovado is beyond the fog. 03-Mar-2013
Beachfront, Chaiten, Chile. The Gulf of Corcovado is beyond the fog. 03-Mar-2013
Souvenir from the Chaiten Volcano. Chaiten, Chile, 03-Mar-2013
Souvenir from the Chaiten Volcano. Chaiten, Chile, 03-Mar-2013
Chaiten Volcano eruption, five years on. 03-Mar-2013
Chaiten Volcano eruption, five years on. 03-Mar-2013

Check out the recently updated original post published from Chaitén, which includes a notebook account, plenty more images and this short video notebook which I’m including again here.

If you’ve passed through more recently, I’d love to hear from you.

~~

Chaiten Volcano Aftermath, Five Years Later
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And for the record: today’s Pic du Jour, the site’s 790th straight, was taken in Chaitén, Chile, on 03 March 2013.

All images © Bob Ramsak. All rights reserved. High resolution images available.
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  1. Manja Mexi Movie says

    This is quite striking. It made me remember the dread I felt as a child when I learned about Etna and Vesuvius, in my vicinity, no less, and could never understand why people live just beneath. Now I’m even closer. The dread was such that I still tend to believe I will experience an eruption in my lifetime. Possibly that’s why I haven’t been to Naples yet. You know how Serbians says: Ne diraj lava dok spava (Don’t touch a sleeping lion). Once I heard an alternative version: Ne diraj lava Doc Holiday. 😀

    1. Bob R says

      🙂
      I’ve had similar thoughts since moving to Slovenia, except that here it’ll be “the big earthquake” that everyone keeps promising will hit in my lifetime.

      1. Manja Mexi Movie says

        Aaaa, then you stay right there, and I stay right here… because if we would be to meet in Napoli, for example…

  2. paula graham says

    We are but little when it comes to this kind of power. Interesting and poignant shots.

  3. Traductorazo (@douglasaracena) says

    I’m currently living in this area, my beloved town of Chaitén. In case you need any further information, I’d be pleased to help you. Greetings from Chile.

Thoughts?

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