Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano lets off head of steam |

Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano lets off head of steam

The Associated Press

MEXICO CITY – The Popocatepetl volcano experienced a moderate explosion that was heard for miles around Sunday, belching a column of ash more than a mile high.

The one-minute explosion, which happened at 8:19 a.m., may have launched some red-hot rocks for a small radius near the 17,886-foot volcano, and some light ash fall was reported in the nearby town of San Pedro Benito Juarez, Mexico’s National Center for Prevention of Disasters said on its Web site.

A small bank of clouds hovering around the crater prevented investigators from seeing all of the activity.

The volcano, located about 40 miles south of Mexico City, has been closely monitored since Dec. 18. when the volcano staged its most violent eruption in 1,200 years, spewing red-hot rock and convincing thousands who live at its base to flee to shelters set up in safe areas. The villagers were allowed to return on Dec. 27.

Residents are still barred from coming within 7 miles of the crater. —

On the Net:

Smithsonian Institution Global Volcanism Program Volcanic Activity Reports – Popocatepetl:

Popocatepetl Volcano GPS Data Archive:

Mexico’s National Center for Prevention of Disasters: (in Spanish).

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