Officials on alert over Copahue volcano in Argentina

Sunday 23 December 2012 22.27
The authorities of Chile and Argentina issued yellow alerts due to the eruption of the Copahue volcano
The authorities of Chile and Argentina issued yellow alerts due to the eruption of the Copahue volcano

Increased activity at a volcano on the border of Chile and Argentina has authorities in both countries on alert.

The Copahue volcano in Argentina's Neuquen province and Chile's Biobio region began spewing ash and gas early yesterday.

However, officials say it is still in an early eruption stage.

Chile's Mining Minister Hernan de Solminihac said the volcano's smoke plume led Argentine emergency officials to issue a yellow alert.

They are constantly monitoring its activity in case of a full eruption.

Flights expected to pass by the area around the volcano have been warned.

Officials said there was no need yet to evacuate people near the volcano, which is part of the Andes mountain chain.

A volcano in southern Chile erupted last year, forcing the cancellation of hundreds of flights and the evacuation of more than 600 people.

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