This is the latest spectacular eruption at Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano which sent molten lava spewing over the crater and saw the alert level raised to Phase 3.
Popocatepetl, an active volcano located in the states of Puebla and Morelos in central Mexico, erupted at 7.40pm on 28th March. The eruption sent ash and debris high into the air.
Video Credit: CEN/@CNPC_MX
Mexico’s National Centre for Prevention of Disasters (Cenapred) said that the column of ash is spreading to the south-eastern zone.
The eruption had a moderate intensity although incandescent material was thrown as high as three kilometres (1.9 miles) into the sky.
Cenapred said that the alert level at Popocatepetl, considered one of the 10 most dangerous volcanoes in the world, has been raised to ‘Yellow Alert Phase 3’ after being poised on Phase 2 in recent weeks.
Phase 3 sees the activity of a volcano labelled as “intermediate-high” compared to “increasing” in phase 2.
Since 18th March, the volcano has been constantly active and the local authorities have warned people not to go near the site.
Meanwhile, the Civil Protection authority in Puebla has prepared 205 temporary shelters in case residents are affected by ash in the areas of San Martin Texmelucan, San Andres and San Pedro Cholula, the city of Puebla and Izucar de Matamoros.
Since the last eruption on 26th March, Popocatepetl has reportedly registered 261 small blasts of vapour and gases.
Civil Protection coordinator David Eduardo Leon Romero said that the volcano is currently being closely monitored.
About 25 million people live within a 60-mile radius of the active volcano’s crater.
Local residents have been advised to cover their nose and mouth, and drink lots of clean water.
The name Popocatepetl comes from the Nahuatl language and means ‘Smoking Mountain’. It is also referred to by Mexicans as ‘El Popo’.
The volcano, which straddles the states of Puebla and Morelos in central Mexico, lies 90 kilometres (56 miles) from the national capital, Mexico City, from where it can be seen on a clear day.