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Millions preparing to flee homes as volcano spews ash and rock

Mexico’s Popocatepetl Volcano is spewing ash, rocks and gas.

The officials said that people who live downwind of El Popo should cover their eyes and wear masks, but the president of the country played down the danger to life.

Since days, the volcanic site in central Mexico is belching. It lies just 45 miles (72kms) south of Mexico City.

Picture: AP

Officials warned that millions of people should prepare for an evacuation. However, no orders have yet been issued.


Authorities have prepared shelters, conducted simulation drills, and established evacuation routes.

The mountain is within a 12-km (7.5-mile) radius.

A radius of 60 miles (96 km) is home to around 25 million people. This mountain is considered one of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes due to its location.

On Tuesday, the Mexican president Andres Manuel López Obrador stated that its intensity has decreased.

He said: “The amount of ash that it emits has also decreased.” It’s mainly going toward Puebla. We are monitoring day and night to ensure that no panic is created in the rest of the states.

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Mexico’s volcano spews smoke, ash

A large plume of ash has been blown east by winds over the states of Puebla, Veracruz, and then the Bay of Campeche.

The Mexican government increased the alert level for the activity of the volcano, which is 17,797ft tall (5,424m). In addition, in-person education was suspended in three states.

Atlixco, Mexico is covered in volcanic ash. Pic AP

Mexico City, with its population of almost nine millions people, is the largest city in North America.

The Mexican Defence Department announced on Sunday that 6,500 soldiers were ready to deploy if necessary.

Image: The wind has blown a large cloud of ash to the east, including Puebla

Popocatepetl was born in 1994, after decades of dormancy. It experienced periods of increased activity between 2000 and 2003 and from 2012 to 2016.

Laura Velazquez, civil defence coordinator, said that the warning system for the lava volcano was still on yellow but now in phase three.

Picture: AP

This phase is characterized by the development of large domes that explode with increasing intensity. They launch incandescent rocks into the air, and pyroclastic flow down their flanks.

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She said that “at this time, there is no danger to the population”.

Ms Velazquez said that only three of the 565 eruptions of the volcano since September were large, and the current activity is not the most active of this century.


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