Mexico prepares for more intense eruptions from Popo volcano

Popocatepetl volcano spews ashLos Angeles Times, 5/14/2013

Mexico’s giant Popocatepetl volcano may generate lava flows, explosions of “growing intensity” and ash that could reach miles away, the National Center for Disaster Prevention said Monday. Officials were preparing evacuation routes and shelters for thousands of people who live in the shadow of Popocatepetl, located 40 miles southeast of Mexico City. Officials have created a 7.5-mile restricted zone around the cone of the volcano.

Popo, as the volcano is known, has displayed a “notable increase in activity levels” in the last few days, including tremors and explosive eruptions, according to a statement from the federal government. The 17,887-foot volcano has been disgorging large towers of steam and ash since mid-April, but officials have become more concerned in recent days as activity has intensified. Webcams have shown large chunks of molten rock spewing from the crater, and ash has rained down on the nearby city of Puebla. On Sunday, the National Center for Disaster Prevention elevated its warning level to Yellow Phase 3, the fifth stage of a seven-stage warning scale.

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Mexico raises alert for Popocatepetl volcano

Reuters, 4/17/12

Mexican authorities raised the alert level for the Popocatepetl volcano near to Mexico City on Monday after it started spewing red-hot fragments of rock.

The lava dome of Popocatepetl, some 50 miles to the southeast of the capital, started to expand on Friday, Mexico’s National Center for Disaster Prevention said.

This change in activity in the 5,450 meter (17,900 foot) volcano could provoke big explosions capable of sending incandescent fragments out over considerable distances, as well as ash showers, the center said in a statement.

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What’s missing in Mexico City? Dirty air

Mexico City

McClatchy Newspapers, 12/2/2010

Slowly and steadily, this sprawling city is cleaning up its air.

Joggers trot through parks in the morning, and cyclists increasingly take to the streets. On many days, residents can gaze southeast at the snowy 17,802-foot volcano with the hard-to-pronounce name — Popocatepetl.

A haze still covers Mexico City, and ozone levels are often unhealthy. But the capital is no longer the smog-choked city of two decades ago, when birds were said to fall from the sky dead. It’s been years since teachers kept kids off playgrounds to prevent respiratory illness.

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