Volcanic lightning strikes over the Puyehue volcano, 870 km south of the capital city Santiago in Chile on Monday June 6, 2011. (
The eruption prompted evacuations for 3,500 people and cancellation of flights as it sent a cloud of ash that reached the city of Bariloche, in Argentina, where the local airport was closed. There were no reports of injuries.
An alert had been declared by the National Emergencies' Office in nearby zones around the volcano after a flurry of earthquakes earlier on Saturday. Reports say that over a period of six hours, the number of temblors reached an average of 230 per hour - the largest occurred at 8:36 a.m. (local time) on June 4th with a magnitude 4.4.
Chile’s National Geology and Mining Service also reported a column of gas 10 kilometers high and five kilometers wide rose from Puyehue-Cordon Caulle complex, hours after warning of strong seismic activity in the area.
The last eruption of Puyehue volcano said to have occurred in 1960 following a massive 9.5 earthquake.
Meanwhile here's a video of the lightning inside Puyehue volcano as it erupts (courtesy of "RussiaToday" of Youtube):