Chile’s government has finally persuaded locals living close to the increasingly active Copahue volcano to leave.
Their mandatory evacuation order of a 25 kilometre radius had been ignored by many because it meant abandoning their livestock.
The Copahue volcano straddles the border between Chile and Argentina and has seen an increase in seismic activity but has not erupted.
Those living in its foothills own thousands of cattle and sheep and refused to leave until the government promised to care for their animals.
“I didn’t want to leave my home. how could I abandon it ? We have so much, the chickens that we have to look after!” For Maria, leaving her livestock was too much to bear.
Juan was also reluctant to leave: “Until I die I will not move from my land. I have food here chickens and sheep. If there is an eruption then I will go but not before!”
Chile and Argentina declared a red alert on Monday ordering some 3,000 people on both sides of the volcano to evacuate. Experts say they have no idea how long the current activity will continue.
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