Panic as volcano spews hot ash near Mexican capital

The Popocatepetl Volcano spews ash

National Centre for Disaster Prevention in Mexico has warned people to stay away from Popocatepetl near the country’s City after 200 minor eruptions were recorded in 24 hours.

Mexico has been put on alert following the volcano that started spewing hot ash and rock close to its capital city.

It has issued a level three yellow alert, indicating possible magma expulsion and explosions of increasing intensity.

Soldiers check an evacuation route

The alert – the third highest – is one level below a red alert that would trigger preparations for an evacuation.

The 17,900ft (5,450m) stratovolcano has been particularly active in recent months and has now been spewing hot rock, ash and gas.

It has sent pieces of burning rock showering about one and a half miles (2.4km) down its slopes, which has caused fires in surrounding grassland.

Several towns reported ash falling on them from the explosion.

The Popocatepetl Volcano spews ash

Some 25 million people live within about 60 miles (97km) of the volcano’s crater.

A major eruption at Popocatepetl in 2000 forced an evacuation and saw nearly 50,000 residents in three states surrounding the peak flee the region.

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