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Volcanic ash disrupts air travel in Uruguay, Argentina

A cloud of ash billowing from Puyehue volcano near Osorno in southern Chile, 870 km south of Santiago, on June 5, 2011. AFP
The online news portal of TV5

MONTEVIDEO, Uruguay - Flights were canceled Tuesday in Uruguay and Argentina because of volcanic ash from the four-month-long eruption of the Puyehue volcano in Chile, airport authorities said.

Laura Vanoli, Uruguay's chief aeronautic meteorologist, said the country was almost entirely covered by an ash cloud and it would affect flights throughout the day.

"It's remnants of ash," she said, adding that there will be a risk of disruption as long as the volcano remains active.

About a dozen flights by Aerolineas Argentinas, American Airlines, Iberia, Sol Lineas Aereas and TACA were suspended in Uruguay, while other flights were delayed, the website of the Carrasco International Airport serving Montevideo said.

In Buenos Aires, airport authorities reported the cancelation of about 20 domestic and international flights, and said other flights were being delayed because of poor visibility due to the presence of ash over the city.

Since the volcano's eruption on June 4, air travel to and from Uruguay, Argentina and as far away as Australia has been periodically disrupted by ash clouds streaming east out of the Chilean Andes.