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Chile's 'electrifying' volcanic eruption
An ash cloud and a lightning storm make for dramatically vibrant, once-in-a-lifetime photographs
 
Lightning illuminates a massive cloud of ash that billows out of Chile's Puyehue volcano, which erupted Sunday for the first time in half a century.
Lightning illuminates a massive cloud of ash that billows out of Chile's Puyehue volcano, which erupted Sunday for the first time in half a century.
Victor Rojas/XinHua/Xinhua Press/Corbis

The image: A lightning storm paired with a volcanic eruption have made for an incredible photo op in Chile over the past few days. (See a photo, at right and below.) On Sunday, the Puyehue volcano in southern Chile began erupting. Its great billowing plume of ash was cast on a backdrop of lightning storms, turning the sky brilliant shades of bright blue and ominous red, and creating a startling, "electrifying" image. The volcano had been quiet for half a century, and, geologists say, its eruption might have been triggered by the 8.8-magnitude earthquake last year. The great eruption has grounded flights, coated nearby ski slopes with ash, and necessitated the evacuation of thousands of nearby residents.

The reaction: This is a scene of "apocalyptic agglomeration," says Christine Dell'Amore at National Geographic. Yeah, it "looks like hell on Earth," says Casey Chan at Gizmodo. Forget those dark prophecies, says Mark Memmott at NPR. It's just one "spectacular lightning show." See for yourself (and check out additional photos here):

 

(Courtesy:REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado)

 

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