Mexico volcano spews huge ash cloud, frightens villagers
By Noe Torres
Sat May 12, 2012
Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano spewed out huge clouds of ash and fiery rock overnight, closing a local airport on Saturday and frightening nearby villagers, already on edge after weeks of increased activity.
Popocatepetl, 50 miles (80 km) southeast of Mexico City, shook with tremors that belched out four large plumes of ash on Friday night and Saturday morning, the National Center for Disaster Prevention said in a statement on Saturday.
The biggest expulsion shot an ash cloud 2.5 miles (4 km) into the air and launched glowing rocks more than half a mile (1 km) from the crater, the statement said.
Raul Arambula, a scientist collaborating with the government’s disaster center, said the volcano threw out the most ash and fragments of red-hot rock since authorities raised the alert level last month.
“It was spectacular,” Arambula said. “Of course, it makes you worry about everyone living nearby.”