Evacuation at Copahue volcano picks up pace

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) - Chile 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 on Wednesday the evacuation was delayed, but picked up pace after a deal was reached with people on the Chilean side.

The nearly 2,965m 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 1.5km high prompting authorities to issue a red alert.

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