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Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano erupts, sending huge ash cloud 1.2km into sky

Authorities set up seven-and-a-half mile exclusion zone around summit after latest activity

Tom Barnes
Tuesday 19 March 2019 10:54 GMT
Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano erupts

Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano erupted late on Monday, triggering warnings for ash rain and mudslides.

The Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) warned an explosion at the volcano in central Mexico had taken place at 9.38pm local time.

Mexico’s National Centre for Disaster Prevention (CENAPRED) said the blast had sent a column of ash around 1.2km into the air.

There were no immediate reports of any injuries or damage caused as a result of the incident.

“CENAPRED urges the public not to approach the volcano and especially the crater, because of the danger involved in the fall of ballistic fragments,” the agency said in a statement.

The Mexican government has issued a “yellow phase two” volcano alert following the eruption, setting up a 7-and-a-half mile exclusion zone around the summit.

Authorities warned small to intermediate-sized explosions, ash rain in nearby towns and mudflows could all follow.

Popcatepetl, which gets its name from a Nahuatl-language phrase meaning “smoking mountain”, sits around 43 miles southeast of Mexico City.

The volcano had been dormant for almost 50 years, before smoke started emanating from the crater again in the early 1990s.

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Since then, it has seen sporadic activity and several significant eruptions are recorded each year by CENAPRED and the Washington VAAC.

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