6 June 2011
Last updated at 11:47
Volcanoes in Chile's Puyehue-Cordon-Caulle range have been erupting, sending 5km (three-mile) wide columns of ash and pumice stones into the air.
There was a spectacular lightning show in the ash cloud on Sunday, but behind the dazzling display there is danger. The area is on red alert and some 3,500 local residents were evacuated.
Some local residents were reluctant to leave, fearing their homes could be burgled and worrying about what will happen to their animals.
The eruptions are also affecting parts of neighbouring Argentina. These pumice stones were collected by Argentine border police at the Cardenal Samore crossing between Chile and Argentina.
Some said it was like a solar eclipse as the ash filled the sky and blocked out the sun. They said it fell like snow from the sky.
In Bariloche, a major Argentine tourist destination, there was little chance of a round of golf on this course after it was blanketed in ash.
A layer of ash blanketed cars. Authorities advised affected residents to stay indoors and close their windows to avoid breathing in the ash.
Even in Puerto Madryn, on Argentina's Atlantic coast and some 700km (435 miles) east of the volcano chain, the volcanic ash made for a murky day.
The last time this chain of volcanoes saw such violent activity, in 1960, the area was hit by a massive earthquake. This eruption was accompanied by many tremors but no single major quake.