Photo in the News: Peru Volcano Spews Deadly Ash

Photo: Calf wearing a face mask
Email to a Friend


April 21, 2006—Clouds of poisonous ash and acidic smoke from a volcano in southern Peru are causing severe respiratory problems for people and animals living in the mountain's shadow.

Locals have been wearing face masks to keep from breathing ashes and fumes, and some have even bestowed the protection on their livestock, as seen in the above image of a calf taken on Wednesday.

The Ubinas volcano sits in the Moquegua region near the southern tip of Peru (see map). It has been inactive since 1969 but began periodically spewing smoke and ash earlier this month.

Yesterday the volcano sent a plume of gases more than half a mile (about one kilometer) into the air, sparking local officials to declare an alert for the region and order evacuations.

Hundreds of people have reported eye and respiratory ailments, and some animals have died from eating grass covered in volcanic ash, including 20 llamas (related photo: llama herd).

"The cows and the lambs don't want to eat," Lucia Condori, a villager living 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) south of the volcano, told the Reuters news agency. Many villagers are refusing to leave their homes unless they can take their livestock with them.

—Victoria Gilman

See More Photos in the News
See Today's Top News Stories
Get Our Free Photo Newsletter

NEWS FEEDS    After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed. After installing a news reader, click on this icon to download National Geographic News's XML/RSS feed.

Get our news delivered directly to your desktop—free.
How to Use XML or RSS




ADVERTISEMENT

 

50 Drives of a Lifetime

Listen to your favorite National Geographic news daily, anytime, anywhere from your mobile phone. No wires or syncing. Download Stitcher free today.