Chile’s awesome Puyehue volcano eruption in pictures

“Apocalyptic” seems the best word to describe the images now emerging of ongoing eruptions at the Puyehue volcano range in southern Chile.

Eruptions began after an ominous series of earthquakes on June 4, resulting in heavy ashfalls, including in Argentine towns up to 100km away.

The phenomenon of eruptions producing such dramatic lightning storms was first observed in 2007.

The last time Puyehue erupted was in 1960.

A cloud of ash billowing from Puyehue. The National Service of Geology and Mining said the explosion that sparked the eruption also produced a column of gas 10 kilometers high, hours after warning of strong seismic activity in the area. Claudio Santana/AFP
Volcanic lightning over Puyehue on June 5. Francisco Negroni/EPA
June 4, in the southern Argentine city of Bariloche. The border crossing between Argentina and Chile was closed. Diario Rio Negro/AFP
Lightning is seen amid a cloud of ash billowing from Puyehue. The eruption prompted evacuations for 3,500 people. Claudio Santana/AFP
Smoke billowing into the sky during an electric storm after the eruption. Daniel Basualto/EPA
The cloud of ash. Claudio Santana/AFP
Lightning is seen amid a cloud of ash. Claudio Santana/AFP
Ian Salas/EPA
Smoke billowing into the sky. Ian Salas/EPA
Volcanic lightning over Puyehue on June 5. Francicso Negroni/EPA
Houses are covered with volcanic ash in the Patagonian city of San Martin de los Andes, Argentina, on June 6. Federico Soto/EPA
The giant ash cloud produced by the eruption of Puyehue on June 5. Ian Salas/EPA