Mexican volcano ready to erupt
April 18, 2012
Geologists recently noticed volcanic activity in Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano and raised the alert level for nearby residents. Popocatepetl sits just 19 miles south of Mexico City, and CNN International reports there have been tremors earlier this week along with ash and water vapor rising from the volcano.
Already, schools have been closed in the area and residents at the base of the peak are being told to keep their windows shut and to stay inside as much as possible. The alert level was initially placed at Yellow Level 3, but officials upgraded it to Yellow Level 5, which is the highest yellow warning level before red alert. According to The Associated Press, in its current state, Popocatepetl may experience explosions that could launch incandescent rocks significant distances from the volcano. There is also likely to be torrents of mud and molten lava running down the sides of the peak as well as many ash showers.
The volcano has been erupting relatively frequently since 1994, and the largest explosion since then took place in 2000. Thousands of people were evacuated from towns at the base of Popocatepetl, and the same scenario may happen again if conditions worsen.