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19 Jun 14:51

About our Popocatépetl news

Latest news on Popocatépetl, one of Mexico's most active volcanoes. It lies in the eastern half of the Trans-Mexican volcanic belt and is one of several volcanoes there. At over 5,400 metres in elevation, Popocatépetl is the second highest peak in Mexico, after Pico de Orizaba.

Popocatépetl has had more than 15 major eruptions since the arrival of the Spanish in 1519. The volcano has been quite active in the modern era, with numerous eruptions occurring in the 20th and 21st centuries. Its name means "Smoking Mountain" in Nahuatl, the language of the Aztecs.

The volcano is located in a densely populated area. Mexico City, the country's capital and largest city, is only about 70 kilometres to the northwest, and Puebla, another major city, is even closer to the east. This has led to concerns about the potential for large eruptions to affect these cities.

Although it has been erupting occasionally since 1994, its activity has increased significantly in 2023, with it rumbling every day at the end of May. Authorities have raised the alert level to the second-highest level. Scientists have recorded hundreds of explosions, and webcams have captured the volcano spewing incandescent material. Smoke, ash, and molten rock have been seen spewing into the sky, posing risks to aviation and communities below. As a result, two Mexico City airports temporarily halted operations due to falling ash. Authorities are preparing for possible evacuation and advising people to stay out of a 7.5-mile radius around the peak. Like Mount Vesuvius in Italy and Mount St. Helens in Washington state, Popocatépetl is a stratovolcano capable of catastrophic, explosive eruptions, the last of which occurred around the year 800.

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