Dramatic Volcano Blast Sends Hot Ash High Into Sky

CENPublished: January 31, 2018Updated: February 1, 2018
Published: January 31, 2018Updated: February 1, 2018

The Popocatepetl volcano in Mexico has blasted a huge column of volcanic gas and ash over a mile into the air amid fears of more intense eruptions.

Chilling footage of the blast has emerged online after a series of explosions over the course of 24 hours.

The alert level for the Popocatepetl volcano is currently at yellow phase two, meaning similar activity is expected in the coming days and a 12-kilometre (7.5-mile) safety radius has been introduced.

Popocatepetl is a popular landmark and an active stratovolcano, built up of alternate layers of lava and ash, located in the states of Puebla, Mexico and Morelos. It is the second highest peak in Mexico at 5,426 metres (17,802 feet).

The blast was detected by the National Disaster Prevention Centre (Cenapred) at 4.20pm local time on 30th January and the hot ash and steam rose nearly two kilometres (1.24 miles) and dispersed north-west of the Popocatepetl National Park.

Cenapred coordinator Luis Felipe Puente said that 48 low-intensity blasts were recorded during a 24-hour period.

In the native Nahuatl language, known historically as Aztec, Popocatepetl means "smoking mountain" and the active volcano is monitored 24 hours a day by four video cameras that stream its activity live.

Mexican authorities have advised nearby residents to close their windows and avoid leaving home unless absolutely necessary.

Around 27 million people are reported to live within a 100-kilometre (62 mile) radius of the volcano.

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