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article imageMexico's Popocatépetl volcano spews ash and gas, region on alert

By Leigh Goessl     Apr 13, 2013 in Science
Puebla - It appears Mexico's Popocatépetl volcano is getting active again. This weekend the volcano began to spew ash and gas. This prompted officials to restrict access of the immediate region surrounding the volcano.
Popocatépetl volcano, located in Mexico, is considered an active, and often referred to as a "violent" volcano. On Saturday reports emerged the volcano began to spew a dense cloud of ash over central Mexico.
CNN reported Popocatépetl shot out an emission of ash and water vapor into the air that was about 1,300 feet (400 meters). The ash fell on the towns of San Nicolas de los Ranchos, Huejotzingo and parts of Puebla.
Throughout Saturday the emissions reportedly grew stronger and this prompted the Mexican government to restrict access within 7.5 miles (12 kilometers) of Popocatépetl.
Mexico s Popocatépetl volcano spews ash and gas on April 13  2012.
Mexico's Popocatépetl volcano spews ash and gas on April 13, 2012.
"This activity was preceded by 12 low intensity exhalations which were followed by small emissions of water vapor and gas. Also, at 19:31 h a volcanotectonic microseism was registered, with a preliminary magnitude of 1.9.," said government officials in an April 13 report.
Based on the increased activity, the Volcanic Alert Level is currently at Yellow Phase 2.
In April of last year, "El Popo", as the volcano is affectionately called by locals, showed significant signs of reawakening and the alert levels were raised to Yellow Phase 3, the third-highest warning. However, Popocatépetl did not see a full eruption, although for a time just about a year ago, many people were on alert for possible evacuation.
Is this week's increased activity an indicator "El Popo" will explode? Experts are carefully monitoring Popocatépetl 24 hours a day, according to reports.
The last major explosion the volcano had was in 2000. The Popocatépetl volcano is about 17,900 feet (5,455 meters) high and is one of Mexico's highest peaks.
More about Popocatepetl volcano, el popo, Popocatepetl, Popocatpetl, Volcano
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