Huge plumes of smoke filled the sky above the villages and towns that reside just abreast of Mexico City. The ash rained down and covered homes, cars, businesses, and streets. Last week, a violent series of blasts from Popocatepetl, have put all residents in the region on notice. A “Yellow Phase Two” alert has been set into motion, meaning, volcano experts now believe that Popocatepetl is now entering a stage where further intermediate level blasts are likely.
The recent explosion was caught by cameras and have been shared online, serving to heighten the need for residents in the area to make sure their bug out bag essentials are in order. Because, when it comes to a volcano of this magnitude, there won’t be much time to escape. Read my how to survive a volcano article for more information on what you should do to prepare, or in the event you are trapped in an eruption.
Below is a look at the latest Popocatepetl eruption, followed by more pertinent information on the matter.
The terrifying footage has led to many concerns that a much larger, much darker event is on the horizon for the people of the region. “Don Goyo”, as locals call it, could envelop the region in smoke and ash in a matter of minutes if a major eruption were to occur. When you count the people of Mexico City, you place almost 30 million people in a highly dangerous and toxic situation. Popocatepetl has been active now for the past 30 days, but the recent activity is signaling a change in the mood of the dangerous volcano. Many local residents are being told to stay indoors for now. They are also being advised to keep their windows shut, their homes sealed. There are already dangerous levels of ash circulating in the air from the volcano’s recent activity. Popocatepetl is somewhat a mythical monster, having been credited with killing off a great many Aztec communities.
Popocatepetl is considered a stratovolcano, and it is considered to be active (that fact more than ever today). At nearly 18,000 feet in height, Popocatepetl in dormant phases serves to line the countryside outside of Mexico City with an often majestic and snow covered peak. Popocatepetl resides just at 40 miles to the southeast of heavily populated Mexico City as the second highest mountain in the country.
During Popocatepetl’s more dormant years in pre-2000’s, Popocatepetl contained glaciers. But the upticks in volcanic activity eliminated any semblances of glaciers, leaving only unorganized ice remains.
CENAPRED (Mexico’s National Centre for Disaster Prevention) has issued statements advising residents in the area to stay away from Popocatepetl. A statement also advised that Popocatepetl has had 383 “low intensity exhalations along with “emissions of steam and gas and moderate amounts of ash.” This having been since Thursday and Friday’s major eruption events.
“CENAPRED emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments and in case of heavy rains leave the bottoms of ravines by the danger of landslides and debris flows.”
Antonio Gali Fayad, Puebla’s governor, has noted that officials are monitoring the situation and that an eruption could cause a dangerous situation for residents of Mexico City.
The region has suffered a great deal of travesty in recent months, most notably linked to September 19th’s violent 7.1 magnitude earthquake. The volcano activity from Popocatepetl began around the same time as the massive earthquake. A recent large-scale earthquake in Iran is also prompting fears that our earth is getting uncomfortably active. The earth, like many things, has to adjust to evolve. It does this by releasing built up pressure through earthquakes and volcanoes. This isn’t a time to push the panic button, rather, to channel our inner prepper. Preparation is the key to survival in most cases. Be prepared now, worry much less later.