Mexican Government Alert Level Raised as Popo Spews More Smoke, Ash, Lava

Photo: UNAM


The Mexican government raised its alert warning level for the Popocatepetl Volcano late Sunday, May 21, from yellow phase 2 to yellow phase 3, one step below a red alert, as the peak continued to spew smoke, ash and molten rock, posing serious health risks to aviation and residents below, as well as inciting local public school closures.

El Popo, as the volcano is known colloquially, located in central Mexico City, is considered one of the most dangerous in the world since 25 million people live within a 100-kilometer radius of it.

Popocatepetl is located on the borders of the central states of Morelos, Mexico and Puebla.

The elevated yellow warning means that nearby residents should “remain alert and prepare for a possible evacuation,” according to the warning system developed by Mexico’s National Disaster Prevention Center.

The next step, a red alert, would trigger immediate mandatory evacuations for residents from around the volcano.

Popocatepetl, which has not registered a major eruption in more than a millennium, spewed back to life in 1994 and has since seen periodic flares of activity.

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