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Chile, Argentina evacuate on Copahue volcano alert

Tuesday - 5/28/2013, 1:41pm  ET

This photo released by the Government of Neuquen, Monday, May 27, 2013, shows a plume of ash and smoke rise from the Copahue volcano, as seen from Caviahue, in the Argentine province of Neuquen, Friday, May 24, 2013. Chile has issued a red alert for the Copahue volcano on the border with Argentina that has become increasingly active. The nearly 10,000-foot (2,965-meter) volcano sits in the Andes cordillera, straddling the border with Argentina's Neuquen province. (AP Photo/Government of Neuquen, Tony Huglich)

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) -- Chile and Argentina are evacuating nearly 3,000 people after officials issued a red alert for the increasingly active Copahue volcano bordering the two countries.

Chilean officials began evacuating 2,240 people within a 25-kilometer (15.5-mile) radius of the volcano Tuesday morning. Argentine officials began evacuating about 600 people on their side of the border Monday night.

The nearly 10,000-foot (2,965-meter) Copahue sits in the Andes cordillera, between Chile's Bio Bio region and Argentina's Neuquen province.

Bio Bio Gov. Victor Lobos says the people living in the foothills of the volcano own about 21,000 head of cattle. He tells local Radio Cooperativa that some of them are refusing to leave the area because they don't want to leave their animals behind.


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