Popocatepetl: Mexican volcano erupts, prompting evacuation fears

The peak is the most volatile and explosive volcano in Mexico

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The Independent US

Popocatepetl Volcano in Mexico began erupting yesterday morning, spewing lava and ash from its peak. Streams of smoke and debris have been flowing from the peak for over 24 hours.

The volcano, which is more than 17,000ft tall, is the second highest peak in Mexico and lies on the Trans-Mexican volcanic belt. It is the most active volcano in Mexico, having erupted 15 times since records began.

Authorities are warning local residents to cover their mouths and noses with wet cloths if they leave their homes, in a bid to protect against smoke inhalation.

They have also urged people to watch out for falling debris if they go near the volcanic site.

Popocatepetl last erupted in 2014, forcing 40,000 local residents to be evacuated. Plumes of smoke, ash and debris also caused travel chaos as flights were stopped from travelling into or out of local airports.

Pilots are currently on high alert to prepare for a similar scenario unfolding over the coming days.