Mexico volcano eruption: Locals told to prepare to evacuate as Popocatépetl erupts twice

The volcano known as Popocatépetl, or more colloquially Popo, has been active over the past week, spewing ash into the air on several occasions. On July 25, it erupted two times, prompting officials to warn the public to get ready for an evacuation. One of the explosions was so powerful it shot debris up to 3,300 feet (1,000 metres), into the air, with the ash dispersed in a southwestern direction.

As a result, Mexico’s National Center for Disaster Prevention (CENAPRED) said people should steer clear of the volcano, as landslides and fragments of flying rock remain a danger.

A statement from the governmental organisation detailed the activity around Popo.

The statement read: “In the last 24 hours, through the monitoring systems of the Popocatepetl volcano, 163 exhalations were identified, accompanied by water vapour, gas and light amounts of ash.

“In addition, two minor explosions were recorded yesterday at 1:37 pm and 1:46 pm, as well as a moderate explosion yesterday at 7:23 pm, which reached an approximate height of 1000 m, with moderate ash content and dispersed in a southwest direction.

“CENAPRED urges people NOT to APPROACH the volcano and especially the crater because of the danger of ballistic fragments.”

CENAPRED said the warning level is at “yellow phase 2”, which means there is no imminent danger, but it does mean a 12 kilometre safety radius has been imposed.

Officials at CENAPRED also say they have discovered the formation of a new dome for lava to escape from inside El Popo.

CENAPRED said: “During this flight, thermal images and photographs were obtained that allowed us to identify the presence of a new dome and that the internal crater maintained its dimensions.”

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At 5,426 metres tall, Popo, which is some 44 miles (70km) away from the capital Mexico City, is the second largest volcano in North America, but experts say that it does not pose a huge threat to locals due to its usually dormant nature.

Last year, Popo erupted for the first time since 2000 when ash was propelled a staggering 10,000 feet (3km) into the sky.

Since then, there have been several eruptions.



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