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Mexican Volcano Violently Expels Ash 3 Miles Into Sky, Frightening Locals

Nov 27, 2016 06:43 AM EST
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Mexico's Popocatepetl sends column of ash and smoke into the sky after erupting

The Popocatépetl volcano in Mexico has been under observation since it violently spewed ash vertically into the air, startling locals. The explosion reached more than five kilometers above the volcano's crater and spread plumes of ash, reaching small towns and villages on the outskirts of the volcano.

According to Mexico's director of civil protection, Luis Felipe Puente, the explosion consisted of steam, gas,and ash. The volcano has been dormant for more than 20 years since its strong eruption in 1994. There had been records of evacuations in 2000 as scientists warned that it could erupt again, its strongest in the past thousand years.

Since 2012, the volcano has been increasing its activity, creating tension in the area, since the volcano tends to behave erratically. It has been recorded to spew ash and some lava in April but local authorities have indicated that rumblings from the volcano have been continuously experienced by the locals for decades.

The volcano is a part of the Trans-Mexican volcanic belt and is known to be the second highest peak in the country. Being dormant for years, it is one of the tall peaks in Mexico which contain glaciers. However, due to its activity, the glaciers have been greatly decreasing in size.

According to reports, for the  past 24 hours after the Popocatepetl volcano surprised locals, it has been recorded that there were 129 incidents of release of ash columns, there had been three more major explosions and a 1.8 magnitude tremor. Local authorities have prompted warnings to both locals and tourists to stay away from the areas near the volcano, particularly its crater.

Hiking has been strongly prohibited as the erratic spewing of ash is very dangerous. Furthermore, residents around the region has been warned to take extra precautions as the ash can cause breathing issues especially for children, elderly and pre-existing respiratory problems. 

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