The scientists, authorities, and locals are on high alert after a Mexican volcano has recently erupted spewing ash 3 miles into the air.
The cloud of ash reached nearby villages and towns as well. According to Luis Felipe Puente, the Director of Civil Protection, the eruption consisted of ash, steam, and gas. The volcano is called Popocatépetl, and it is known as El Popo among the residents.
It’s been over two decades since the last eruption of the Mexican volcano. More precisely, the scientists have been monitoring the Popocatépetl volcano since 1994. In 2000, the authorities evacuated the locals several times because El Popo was expected to erupt again.
The volcano’s activity increased over the past four years, so the scientists have been more than vigilant to predict the next eruption. The latest small eruption occurred on April 3rd this year when El Popo spewed lava and ash.
This Mexican volcano is the 2nd highest in the country. There are more than 3,000 volcanos in Mexico, out of which 14 are known as active. Also, 1,500 others are constantly monitored because they are potentially dangerous.
Although El Popo should be covered by glaciers thanks to its height, the intense activity melted most of them. According to recent reports, there have been 129 small eruptions over the past 24 hours as well as a 1.8 magnitude earth shake and three significant explosions.
Authorities urge residents in nearby villages and towns to stay away from the Mexican volcano, especially its crater. Therefore, hiking and other mountain activities are prohibited for the moment.
Locals must be aware of the risk of inhaling the toxic ash and gas because they can cause breathing problems. Those most at risk are seniors, children, and people with respiratory problems, such as asthma.
El Popo is located between the states of Puebla and Morelos around 43 miles southeast of Mexico City. The scientists expect the cloud of ash and gas to be spread by winds to other towns in the following days.
The Aztec name of the Mexican volcano means the “Smoking Mountain.” Based on recent reports, people were able to see the eruption from a few miles away. Even if many people were frightened by the unexpected explosion, some residents say that El Popo is part of the local culture and it will never hurt them.
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