TIME Chile

See Chile’s Villarrica Volcano Light Up the Night Sky

The Villarrica Volcano at night in Pucon town, Chile on May 10, 2015.
Cristobal Saavedra—Reuters The Villarrica Volcano at night in Pucon town, Chile on May 10, 2015.

The active volcano glows through the night

The Villarrica Volcano in southern Chile is the most active volcano in South America.

In March the volcano, which is located near the tourist resort Pucon, erupted and caused thousands of people to evacuate. This photograph was taken May 10, and depicts the view of the volcano from the city.

TIME Chile

See 9 Stunning Photos From the Volcano Eruption in Chile

It was the volcano's first eruption in more than four decades

Last week’s eruption of the Calbuco volcano in Chile was its first in more than four decades. Officials issued a red alert for a nearby city, Puerto Montt, and evacuated more than 1,500 people in a six-mile radius of the volcano—some 600 miles south of Santiago—as ash began to spew into the air.

Read next: Life and Death in One Picture After Quake Hits Nepal

Listen to the most important stories of the day.

TIME Chile

See the Eruption of Chile’s Calbuco Volcano Paint the Sky

The Chilean Calbuco volcano seen from Puerto Montt, located 600 miles south of Santiago de Chile, Chile on April 22, 2015. The eruption caused a column of smoke over ten miles high. Authorities declared a red alert and ordered the evacuation of around 1500 residents in the area surrounding the volcano.
Alex Vidal Brecas—EPA The Chilean Calbuco volcano seen from Puerto Montt, located 600 miles south of Santiago de Chile, Chile on April 22, 2015. The eruption caused a column of smoke over ten miles high. Authorities declared a red alert and ordered the evacuation of around 1500 residents in the area surrounding the volcano.

Its last known eruption was in 1972

The Calbuco volcano in Chile erupted for the first time in more than four decades on Wednesday, prompting officials to issue a red alert for the city of Puerto Montt. Authorities evacuated around 1,500 residents within a six-mile radius of the volcano after it spewed ash into the air, according to the Associated Press. The volcano, located some 600 miles south of the capital, Santiago, last erupted in 1972.

This is the second eruption in Chile this spring. In early March, the Villarrica volcano expelled ash and lava. Chile has the second-largest chain of volcanos in the world, following Indonesia.

TIME Chile

Heavy Rains Wreak Havoc in Northern Chile, One of the Driest Places on Earth

Residents watch the rising flood waters of the Copiapo River, in Copiapo, Chile, March 25, 2015
Aton Chile—AP Residents watch the rising flood waters of the Copiapo River, in Copiapo, Chile, March 25, 2015

Officials order evacuation ahead of further storms

Heavy rains in the Andes sent flash floods through Chile’s Atacama desert Tuesday evening, leaving thousands without power or running water. The area is normally one of the driest in the world.

Overwhelmed by runoff, the river that runs through Copiapo, Atacama’s capital city, overflowed its banks with more rain predicted over the next 12 hours.

Authorities, fearful of mudslides, urged locals to seek safety elsewhere. Interior Minister Rodrigo Penailillo advised “anyone in an at-risk zone in the Atacama region” to evacuate, the BBC reports.

Northern coastal towns were hit especially hard. The government described the coastal town of Chañaral as in a “critical” state, while the Antofagasta and Coquimbo regions were affected seriously enough to warrant health alerts.

Military units were deployed in Copiapo to lend assistance, and President Michelle Bachelet rearranged her schedule in order to fly to the besieged city.

Along with causing widespread flooding, the rainstorms also washed out roads and disrupted communications. Local officials say 38,000 residents are without power and 48,000 are without potable water.

TIME Chile

Forest Fire Rages in Chilean Port City

Alberto Miranda San Martin—AFP/Getty Images Smoke billows from the forest around Valparaiso in Chile, March 13, 2015.

The number of people being evacuated could rise to 16,000

SANTIAGO – Thousands of people were evacuated from around the Chilean port city of Valparaiso on Friday as a forest fire raged out of control, emergency service agency Onemi said.

Some 4,500 people were being evacuated from Valparaiso and neighboring Vina del Mar and a state of emergency had been declared, Onemi said.

The fire was advancing rapidly, and the numbers being evacuated could rise to 16,000, depending on how the fire progressed, the interior ministry said.
Three firefighters were taken to hospital with injuries and one woman died of cardio-respiratory causes, it said. The fire had begun in a rubbish dump and had burnt some 260 hectares…

TIME Chile

Watch a Volcano in Chile Spew Ash and Lava, Prompting Thousands to Flee

Columns of fiery rock and gas were sent up to 1,000m into the air

Thousands of people had to be evacuated in southern Chile on Tuesday after one of the country’s most active volcanoes erupted.

The Villarrica volcano began spewing plumes of smoke and lava at 3 a.m. local time, prompting authorities to shepherd some 3,500 people away from nearby towns, reports Agence-France Presse.

The 9,000ft-high volcano, which lies 500 miles south of the capital Santiago, is a popular tourist spot with hundreds of people hiking to peer inside its crater every summer.

After about seven hours the volcano calmed down and some residents returned to their homes.

Chile’s President Michelle Bachelet traveled to the region on Tuesday and declared an “agricultural emergency” so local authorities could deal with areas affected by the eruption.

The last time Villarrica had a major eruption was 15 years ago.

[AFP]

TIME Healthcare

Chilean 14-Year-Old With Cystic Fibrosis Asks To Be Allowed To Die

'I am tired of living with this disease'

A video of a 14-year-old Chilean girl with cystic fibrosis asking to be allowed to die has captured attention across the Spanish-speaking world and launched a debate about the right-to-die movement in a region with strong Catholic influence.

“I am asking to speak urgently to the president because I am tired of living with this disease, and she can authorize the injection to put me to sleep forever,” said a teary-eyed Valentina Maureira, addressing Chilean President Michelle Bachelet.

The video, which Spanish media outlets said had been posted to Facebook Sunday evening, shows Maureira sitting on a hospital bed speaking directly to the camera. She explained later that she was “tired of continuing to fight,” according to a translation of a BBC interview. Cystic fibrosis—a genetic disorder that causes problems in the respiratory, digestive and reproductive systems—is a terminal illness that typically results in death in a person’s 30s. In Chile, one in 8,000 newborns has been diagnosed with the disease in recent years, the BBC reported.

Fredy Maureira, Valentina’s father, told radio station Bío Bío Chile that the video had come as a surprise to him, though he said he knew that his daughter had been unhappy in recent months.

“I told her: ‘Daughter, if you want to fight, we will fight. You know how your disease is,'” he told the BBC.

It seems unlikely that Bachelet could authorize the procedure. Presidential spokesperson Alvaro Elizalde said that euthanasia violates Chilean law. Instead, he said, the government would provide Maureira with medical and mental health resources.

“We have to be completely clear, the current norm, the current law in Chile does not allow the government to agree to a request of this nature,” he said, according to Reuters.

The story had spread throughout the Spanish-speaking world by Thursday, with major Spanish language outlets on three continents covering the news, and inspired thousands of Facebook likes.

“I did not think it would get so high,” she told the BBC. “I liked it because [it] motivates people. And this [disease] is a reality.”

TIME Chile

Chilean Poet Pablo Neruda Could Have Been Poisoned

Chile Pablo Neruda
Laurent Rebours—AP Pablo Neruda in 1971.

A fresh probe is to be conducted into his death in 1973

Chile announced Wednesday that the death of Nobel Laureate Pablo Neruda will be reinvestigated to ascertain if the poet was poisoned in 1973 during the first days of the South American nation’s military dictatorship.

Neruda, a staunch communist whose love poems some consider to be among the most romantic ever written, was presumed to have died of prostate cancer following a U.S.-backed coup that led to the merciless rule of dictator Augusto Pinochet. However, many suspect that he was murdered, reports Reuters.

“There is initial evidence that he was poisoned and in that sense the signs point to the intervention of specific agents … that could constitute a crime against humanity,” said Francisco Ugas, the head of Chile’s humans rights department.

Neruda was a loyal follower of ousted President Salvadore Allende, leading to suspicions he was murdered to silence a potential powerful dissenting voice against the new military dictatorship.

Neruda’s chauffeur claims Pinochet’s operatives injected the poet’s stomach with poison while he was bed-ridden by illness.

[Reuters]

TIME the backstory

Photojournalism Daily: Nov. 18, 2014

Photojournalism Daily is a compilation of the most interesting photojournalism found on the web, curated by Mikko Takkunen

Today’s daily Photojournalism Links collection highlights Tomás Munita‘s work on cowboys in Chilean Patagonia. The breathtaking photographs, made on Munita’s first assignment for National Geographic, document the life of bagualeros. They roam on horseback to round up and capture feral livestock to be sold for their meat. Such hard work for little profit can pit them against the scourges of hunger and exhaustion, but as Munita’s pictures show, it makes for a simple and romantic way of life for this dying breed of cowboy.


Tomás Munita: Cowboys on the Edge (National Geographic)

Sebastian Liste: Confronting Mexico’s Latest Massacre (TIME LightBox) These photographs document the demands for justice after the murder of 43 students in Guerrero state.

Joseph Michael Lopez: Framing New York (The New York Times) Selection from the photographer’s Dear New Yorker project.

Contemporary Mexican Photography (The New Yorker Photo Booth) The Bronx Documentary Center’s new exhibit, Miradas: Contemporary Mexican Photographers, tries to go beyond the stereotypes and clichés of Mexican and Mexican-American experience.

Nicoló Degiorgis’ Hidden Islam wins Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Award (British Journal of Photography) The self-published monograph documents how Italy’s Muslims, in the absence of enough mosques, have been forced to improvise places of prayer out of warehouses, parking lots, stadiums and supermarkets. The work was featured on TIME LightBox in July.


Photojournalism Links is a compilation of the most interesting photojournalism found on the web, curated by Mikko Takkunen, Associate Photo Editor at TIME. Follow him on Twitter @photojournalism.


TIME Chile

Suspected Anarchist Bombing Wounds at Least 10 People in Santiago

A police officer talks on his cell phone at the area where a bomb exploded in Santiago
Ivan Alvarado—Reuters A police officer talks on his cell phone at the area where a bomb exploded in Santiago, Chile, on Sept. 8, 2014

No one has claimed responsibility for the attack, but it parallels similar small-scale bombings levied on the city by anarchist groups

An explosion outside an underground train station in the Chilean capital of Santiago on Monday afternoon is a suspected “terrorist” act, say government officials.

At least 10 people were wounded in the lunchtime blast that shook a small shopping mall and food court inside Escuela Militar metro station in the affluent Las Condes neighborhood, Reuters reports. None of the injuries were fatal.

“This is an act that has all the hallmarks of a terrorist deed,” Álvaro Elizalde, the government’s chief spokesman, told reporters outside La Moneda presidential palace. “There is no doubt.”

The blast was the worst yet of at least 29 small-scale bombings and attempted bombings this year in normally peaceful Santiago. Anarchist groups have claimed responsibility for planting many of the devices, not all of which have detonated, and have called for the release of two associates who are imprisoned in Spain.

“This is a cowardly act because it has as its objective to hurt people, create fear and even kill innocent people,” said President Michelle Bachelet. “This is horrible, tremendously reprehensible, but Chile is and remains a safe country.”

No one has yet claimed responsibility for this latest bombing, but security footage shows two suspects putting an explosive device in a metal container, likely a trash can, Interior Minister Mahmud Aleuy told Reuters.

The attack also comes three days before the 41st anniversary of the 1973 coup that ousted socialist President Salvador Allende and began the 17-year dictatorship of General Augusto Pinochet. Chilean politics are usually tense around the anniversary, and protests can teeter on violence. Chile returned to democracy in 1990.

Rescue crews search the area surrounding Escuela Militar metro station in Santiago where a bomb exploded on Sept. 8, 2014.

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