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Alert level raised for Chilean volcano

Dec. 24, 2012 at 8:26 AM

ALTO BIOBIO, Chile, Dec. 24 (UPI) -- Chilean authorities said the Copahue volcano along the border with Argentina could be poised for a significant eruption, though no evacuations had been ordered.

The volcano, about 37 miles west of Alto Biobio, spewed a large cloud of ash and smoke Saturday, prompting provincial emergency officials to issue a yellow alert. Chile's Geological and Mining Service raised the alert to red Sunday because it could not rule out a major eruption, CNN reported Monday.

The agency warned about potentially dangerous mudslides within a 9.3-mile radius of the crater.

Copahue volcano formed about 500,000 years ago as a string of nine craters along this stretch of the Andes Mountains, CNN reported. It's been more than a decade since the volcano's last eruption.

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