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Thousands Flee Rumbling Andes Volcano May 31, 2013
Images of Copahue volcano and evacuation vehicles fleeing.
Top: A caravan of vehicles carries evacuees to safety from rumbling Copahue volcano. Bottom: Steam soaring above the Andean wintertime landscape from Copahue Tuesday.
Residents in a remote stretch of the Andes were quickly evacuated as Copahue volcano suddenly showed signs of a possible explosive eruption.

More than 2,200 people were asked to leave from around the volcano, which straddles the Chile-Argentina border.

Buses and trucks braved snow, high winds and heavy wintertime rain to ferry the evacuees to safety.

But some insisted on staying behind to feed and protect their livestock until the government could evacuate the animals as well, or guarantee they would be fed after the evacuations were complete.

The Santiago Times reports the evacuees haven’t been told how long they will be forced to be away from their homes, but geologists said Copahue’s volatility could last several weeks.

A massive eruption of nearby Puyehue that began in June 2011 disrupted air travel across much of southern South America, and as far away as Australia as ash from several blasts traveled more than halfway around the world.

Deep ash that blanketed adjacent parts of Argentina's Patagonia region at that time shut down ski resorts, killed animals and destroyed crops.

Top Photo: Felipe Gonzales, El Mercurio.
Bottom Photo: Bío Bío regional government handout.