May 29, 2013 4:51 pm

International residents near active Chile volcano agree to evacuate

The Copahue volcano spews ash in December 2012.

Antonio Huglich/AFP/Getty Images)

SANTIAGO, Chile – Chilean officials say all people living near the increasingly active Copahue volcano bordering Argentina are agreeing to evacuate after the countries issued a red alert.

Officials said Wednesday the evacuation was delayed, but picked up pace after a deal was reached with people on the Chilean side.

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. The countries together ordered 3,000 people to evacuate.

Those living in the volcano’s foothills on the Chilean side own about 21,000 head of cattle. They had refused to leave unless the state promised to care for the animals.

Copahue last registered increased seismic activity in December when an ash cloud billowed almost a mile (1.5 kilometres) high prompting authorities to issue a red alert.

© 2013 The Canadian Press

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