Alert for activity of the Popocatépetl volcano

The Mexican authorities raised the alert level for the Popocatépetl volcano (center) yesterday, given an increasing activity that could affect aviation and even remote populations due to the launch of fragments.

One day after operations at the Mexico City airport had to be temporarily suspended due to the fall of ash, Civil Protection announced that the alert level goes from “yellow phase 2 to yellow phase 3.”

This is the level prior to the highly dangerous red, also divided into two phases, explained the coordinator of the organization, Laura Velázquez, at a press conference.

Popocatépetl, whose eruptive process was reactivated in December 1994, is located on the borders of the states of Mexico, Morelos and Puebla. The capital of Puebla -of the same name- woke up this Sunday covered in a gray cape, observed a reporter.

explosiveness

During the new phase, a “low-intensity explosive eruptive activity” is expected, so “mild to moderate explosions that throw fragments around the crater” can be expected, ash rain in nearby towns and in some distant cities and ” risk to aviation”.

There could also be “significant growth of domes and the possibility of magma ejection,” as well as “significant explosions of increasing intensity that launch fragments over considerable distances,” Velázquez warned.

The increase in the alert, which occurs on the recommendation of a scientific committee, forces authorities and relief agencies to prepare personnel, evacuation teams and shelters in the event of an emergency.

Likewise, the authorities will have to adopt measures to avoid damages due to falling ash and material fragments.

enabled shelters

Dozens of shelters have already been set up in the area near the volcano, which has increased its activity since last Friday night with exhalations and moderate explosions, accompanied by the emission of ash and incandescent fragments in the vicinity of the crater.

On Saturday, operations were temporarily suspended at the Benito Juárez Airport in Mexico City and at the Felipe Ángeles International Airport, located in Zumpango and which also serves the capital.

The Benito Juárez, which in 2022 moved 46.2 million passengers, closed for just over five hours, forcing itineraries to be modified.

The Popocatépetl is permanently monitored due to the risk that its activity represents for the population that lives in nearby areas.

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