just got this from sarah rane and reposting it here:
Friends, family, and fellow visitors of the Futaleufu,
If you haven't heard of the natural disaster that has struck the little town of Futaleufu, I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news. About 40 miles away from the town, a "dormant" volcano called Volcan Chaiten erupted 3 times: Thursday, Sunday and yesterday morning. This covered the town of Futaleufu in 15 inches of ash. The country folk and townspeople were forced to leave their belongings and evacuate due to lack of drinking water and obvious health hazards. There are still people that chose not to leave, as they do not want to leave their animals nor way of life.
Our communication was good with our neighbors of the Azul valley until yesterday. Now the phone lines are dead and they have evacuated to Argentina, bringing only a few precious items in their little car.
We have been hearing reports from friends and coworkers in the valley that there is a dire need of supplies that the government isn't providing. Some of the obvious are masks and filters for drinking water.
Although we will help rebuild the fragile community of tourism, we need a team backing us. Aren Rane and Jon Clark are going to fly down with some mandatory supplies of first aid, dust masks, water filters and funds. They are preparing to help clean up the aftermath of dead livestock, collapsed roofs, and dealing with whatever the ash has done to the surrounding areas. Please help us in this effort. We have started a fund called the Futaleufu Relief Fund and all of the money donated will go directly to the locals, food, animals and supplies for the cleanup. Any help from you here will go a long way there. We are staying close to the phones and internet, organizing for the departure and keeping informed.
If you have any questions, suggestions or just want to send your care and concern, you may call or write us anytime. The fund information is below and is set up for direct deposit, paypal, or post office. By working together we can help the local people of the Futaleufu Valley and they will know that they have friends in their time of need. Thank you!
> Check payables to: Futaleufu Relief Fund
> P.O. Box 2344 Taos, NM 87571
> Bank info:
> New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union
> P.O. Box 8530
> Albuquerque, NM 87196
> Account # 0029724010