John Metcalfe was CityLab’s Bay Area bureau chief, covering climate change and the science of cities.
Nature tries to imitate nuclear armageddon.
If the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse wanted to make a WrestleMania-style entrance, they should take notes from Chile's Calbuco volcano. Since blowing its stack Wednesday, the hell-funnel has been whipping up nightmarish illusions in the sky—like nuclear armageddon and towering, alien-world thunderstorms.
The eruptions, about 20 miles northeast of the city of Puerto Montt, have forced evacuations and prompted the government to send water, lest ash contaminate reservoirs. But there have been no reports of lava or death, says the Associated Press, writing:
"For us it was a surprise," said Alejandro Verges, regional emergency director of the Los Lagos region where the eruption took place. He said Calbuco wasn't under any special form of observation....
The 6,500 foot (2,000-meter) Calbuco last erupted in 1972 and is considered one of the top three most potentially dangerous among Chile's 90 active volcanos.
The copious smoke and ash are visible from space, according to MetMEX. Look for the gray, thumbprint-shaped smudge just above the clouds at the continent's southern tip.
These are some of the incredible things people are seeing from the ground: