Mexico volcano eruption: Popocatepetl in violent explosion sending ash plume 2 miles high

Thursday, January 24, 2019
By Paul Martin

MEXICO’S Popocatepetl volcano has erupted in violent explosions creating a two-mile column of ash and smoke and prompting the authorities to issue a safety warning to people living in the surrounding villages.

Thu, Jan 24, 2019

Locals have been told not to go within seven miles of the volcano and be wary of harmful volcanic ash, with the warning a “yellow phase 2” warning in place. The General Secretariat of Government (SGG) warning means the release of water vapoor and gas plumes is to be expected, as well as falling ash and incandescent fragments. In addition there is the risk of eruptions resulting in hazardous pyroclastic flows and mudslides carrying debris, although at such a small scale that evacuation of inhabited areas is not required.

Residents have been urged to bring pets indoors, avoid eating outside and when they do leave their homes, to wear a face mask, a long-sleeved top and a hat.

Once they return home, they are being advised to rinse their eyes and throats with water.

Water tanks need to be kept covered to protect them from toxic volcanic ash.

Italian news agency ANSA said: “A spectacular explosion occurred last night in the crater of the Popocatépetl volcano in central Mexico, causing alarm in the populations living in the surrounding villages.

“The explosion created a column of smoke and ash three kilometres high, and a dispersion of incandescent material within a radius of two kilometres.

“The National Centre for Disaster Prevention (Cenapred) has asked the inhabitants of the area to keep a safe distance from the volcano and above all not to approach its crater.”

About 380,000 people live within 15 miles of the volcano, which has showed signs of increased activity in recent months.

The volcano burst into life on December 15, spewing lava and debris more than a miles into the air.

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