Mexico’s Popocatépetl Volcano. Photo:


Not all the rumbling going on in Mexico these days is political.

Popocatépetl, the nation’s second-highest peak (at 5,426 meters) and part of the eastern half of the Trans-Mexican Volcanic Belt, erupted with an incandescent flash on the night of Saturday, Dec. 15, at 6:58 p.m., and again on Sunday, Dec. 16, in the early morning hours, spewing ash and smoke several kilometers into the sky.

Since bursting back to life in 1994 after a long dormant stage, Popocatepetl (also known as El Popo), located 70 kilometers southeast of Mexico City, has been one of the country’s most active volcanos, erupting at irregular intervals with mud flows and slow-moving lava.

Civil protection authorities have issued a Phase 2 alert, warning people to not approach within a 20 kilometer area.



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