Argentina and Chile order evacuation of Copahue volcano due to risk of imminent eruption

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The BBC reports that Chile and Argentina have ordered the evacuation of some 3,000 people living near the Copahue volcano in the south.

Authorities in both countries have issued a red alert (the highest warning alert) warning that the Chilean volcano could erupt imminently.

“This red alert has been issued after monitoring the activity of the volcano and seeing that it has increased seismic activity,” Chilean Interior Minister Andres Chadwick said in a news conference on Monday.

“There is a risk that it can start erupting.”

So far the 2,965m (nearly 10,000ft) volcano that sits on the Andes cordillera has so far only spewed gas, but thousands of minor earth tremors have been registered in the area.

The volcano, which is located between Chile’s Bio Bio region and Argentina’s Neuquen province, has not erupted yet but has seen increasing seismic activity in recent weeks.

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According to Chile’s Emergency Office, the mandatory evacuation affects 2,240 people living within a 25km radius of Copahue. However, some people have refused to leave their homes and farm animals.

In Argentina, authorities first declared a “yellow alert”, before revising it to red – the highest level.

Hundreds of flights were cancelled last year due to the eruption of another volcano in Southern Chile. The Puyehue eruption caused huge economic damage not only to property in the area but also to tourism in Bariloche and other resorts.

Read full story here http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-22684322

 

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