The ash-flooded town of Chantai

Mike Grist Cars, Chile, Ghost Towns, Natural Disasters, World Ruins 6 Comments

The town of Chantai in Chile was buried by volcanic ash and muddy lava in May 2008, when the Chaitén volcano erupted for the first time in more than 9,000 years. The eruption threw up a plume of ash and sulfurous steam that rose 19 miles high, from which ashfall drifted across Patagonia, and over the Atlantic Ocean. The people evacuated, and everything else was submerged in a thick layer of volcanic detritus.

Chile Volcano

Car welded in place with volcanic rock.

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A shack sinks into the ash-fall.

chantai chile volcanic ash fall2

The town as Mt. Chaiten erupts.

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More cars grounded on main street.

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Ash up to the windows.

When I was 16 I went on a school trip to Pompeii and had my mind blown. The sheer scale of what’s been unearthed there, the eerie quality of how well it was preserved, how close it let me feel to a time and place 2,000 years in the past, was an experience out of this world. Ash-fall from 2008, only one year gone, hardly compares. But engage your imagination. If Mt. Fuji erupted, this is what we would see. Images of the cities being sucked down and devoured by a rain of ash, cars succumbing, houses, people fleeing through the black dry rain, the tide-line raising up the sides of Shinjuku sky-scrapers, choking off the subways, blocking the walkways, and filling up Tokyo Bay. It’s at once fearsome, terrifying, and beautiful.


Location – Chantai, Chile

Image Links- 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Text Links- 1


You can see all MJG’s Ruins / Haikyo explorations here:

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Comments 6

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  2. I’m happy for you to re-post ruins from other sources; just more for me to (virtually) explore!
    Huge thanks to AO for putting me onto your site. I’ve been lost here for days now…

  3. Post

    Bunch of Fives- Lost for days, awesome 🙂 Glad AO put you onto me- I rather got for the idea for re-posting from him. He has great content.

  4. Amazing pictures. I just want to point out a fact. There’s no town of “Chantai”, the town is (or was) called Chaitén, just like the Volcano.

    Best regards,

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