Mexico’s second highest peak, the Popocatepetl Volcano, which means “Smoking Mountain” in the indigenous Nahuatl language, first began rumbling on April 13, when the first signs of ash and steam were sighted spewing from its crater.
Right in the surrounding of Mexico City, columns of ash have been shooting from more than 60 openings in the crust of the 5,450m high volcano. Residents at the foot of the volcano no longer sleep soundly in fear of an imminent eruption that might threaten their homes and even their lives. The volcano’s last eruption was in 2000, then thousands of people had to flee their residences.
On Tuesday, Mexico’s National Disaster Prevention Centre (Cenapred) raised the alert around the volcano to “yellow stage three”, the third-highest level. Authorities claim that the alert could remain in place for weeks or even months until the volcano’s activity diminishes.