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A Dublin couple, their two-week old baby boy and their parents, have been trapped by the eruption of a volcano in Argentina.
John and Emma May, both 30-years-old, from Drimnagh, in Dublin, live in the ski resort of San Carlos de Bariloche, near the Chilean border. They are located about 60 miles east of the Puyehue-Cordon-Caulle that erupted over the weekend.
Noel and Carol May, John’s parents, travelled to Argentina two weeks ago, to be present for the birth of their first grandchild. However, they are now trapped in Argentina as flights are grounded for at least four days.
Noel told the Evening Herald “The volcano started erupting on Saturday and the town was covered in about two inches of ash within hours, everywhere looked like a beach...We can't really see the volcano here, but we felt an earthquake, and the thunder and lightning were phenomenal over the weekend, we've never seen anything like it.”
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His son John said "At first there was no running water, then we had thunderstorms and with the wind some trees must have fallen over power lines because we had no power for a few hours yesterday...Where normally it would be bright during the day from 9am, the whole day is like a very dark grey morning because of the ash.
"It's not too difficult to breathe, people are going around with masks over their faces, but my son and his wife cannot take the baby outside at all.
"Fionn was only born two weeks ago and they were due to take him to the hospital but he's too fragile to go outside in these conditions, we also haven't been able to contact the hospital with the power cuts but it could be worse.
"The airport is closed at least until June 12 and the only way to leave the country really would be to drive to Buenos Aires which is 20 hours away," the Drimnagh native added.
The volcano’s last eruption was in 1960, shortly after a 9.5 magnitude earthquake in Chile.
The latest explosion and hundreds of tremors provoked thousands of nearby inhabitants to evacuate. The border between Chile and Argentina has been closed.