AUSTRALIA has been gripped by the volcanic ash crisis that has rocked Chile and Argentina. Airports have been thrown into chaos, with many flights delayed or even cancelled. Some amazing photographs have emerged straight from the volcanic region with many residents still in complete disbelief. As thousands of travellers lay stranded in states or airports, many towns in the South American region are covered in a horror looking layer of grey ash. As many as 500 flights were cancelled with some airlines ceasing services completely. Qantas has reportedly opened up their gates from 2pm yesterday with more than 20,000 passengers reportedly affected by the latest of natural disasters. These raw images from Reuters.