A vast cloud of ash spewing from a Chilean volcano disrupted air travel on Tuesday across much of South America, while heavy rains around the eruption site prompted fears of mudslides.
Air traffic was sharply curtailed on the continent as the ash cloud drifted over Argentina, Uruguay and into Brazil. Flights in and out of the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, a key regional hub, were cancelled for most of the day.
Rain mixed with volcanic ash poured down on communities near the Puyehue volcano, raising fears that the weight of falling water and volcanic materials could cause mudslides and threaten dams in the area, some 870km south of the capital Santiago.
A milky coating of ash settled on the waters of Gol Gol river, which was swollen by heavy rains.