WIRE:07/12/2000 19:52:00 ET
Volcano spews ash, gases into Chile, Argentina
Blasts at the Copahue volcano, which sits in the Andes Mountains straddling the border, began last week but because of bad weather, Wednesday was the first day officials could fly over it, Alberto Maturana, national director of Chile"s National Emergency Office (Onemi), told Reuters.
The flight over it showed bursts occurring every one to four minutes, sending ash and gases 1,500 feet (500 meters) into the air and dispersing the matter 30-40 miles (50-60 km) to the north-northwest, he said. No evacuations are necessary for the moment, he said.
The Chilean side of the volcano, which showed similar activity in 1992, is located in the Bio Bio region, he said, adding that a ski resort and dams are nearby.
About 1,800 volcanoes line the Argentine-Chilean border, of which 28 are active, Maturana said. These 28 represent about 20 percent of the planet"s active volcanoes, he said