The Straits Times
Published on Dec 24, 2012

Chile issues red alert over Copahue volcano


SANTIAGO (AP) - Chile has issued a red alert for a volcano on the border with Argentina that has become increasingly active.

The Copahue volcano, which sits in the Andes cordillera straddling the border with Argentina's Neuquen province, started spewing ash and gas on Saturday.

Officials issued a yellow and orange alert at first but Chile's emergency office ONEMI raised the alert on Sunday in the Biobio region after it registered seismic activity on Saturday night and a cloud of ash billowed almost 1.5 km high.

"Authorities have overflown the volcano area and the alert is still red," ONEMI official Gilda Grandon told The Associated Press. "We have noted some drop in the ash plume but the alert level is maintained because a full eruption is not ruled out."