Chile Volcano Erupts With Ash and Lightning


Chile's Chait#233n volcano spewed lava and blasted ash more than 12 miles (19 kilometers) into the sky on Tuesday May 6th, 2008, prompting a total evacuation of the provincial capital and other settlements.

President Michelle Bachelet interrupted a speech in the capital to announce that "the volcano is exploding, so a total evacuation of the town of Chait#233n has been ordered."

The mingling of lightning and ash seen above may be a "dirty thunderstorm."

The little-understood storms may be sparked when rock fragments, ash, and ice particles in the plume collide to produce static chargesjust as ice particles collide to create charge in regular thunderstorms.

I am absolutely amazed by this picture. The pyroclastic cloud containing all that silica has a side effect of creating stunning bolts of lightning. Never have I imagined such a thing! Just when you thought that natural phenomena cannot surprise you anymore, something so dramatically stunning such as this photo really can humble you.



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