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Mexican volcano awakens with fire, ash

April 16, 2012 at 3:32 PM   |   Comments

MEXICO CITY, April 16 (UPI) -- Mexico City's volcanic Mount Popocatepetl spewed vapor, fire and ash into the air during the weekend, prompting a precautionary warning to local residents.

Mexico's National Disaster Prevention Center issued an alert, predicting additional "moderate exhalations, some with ash, sporadic low to moderate explosions with likely burning fragments, and flaming magma within the crater, visible at night" from the nearly 18,000-foot mountain known as Popo. The center also advised people to stay alert for a worsening situation, and to remain at least 7 miles away from the mountain's crater.

Although the release of glowing fragments over 1,600 feet into the air was a spectacular sight Friday night, and a vapor cloud was sent a mile into the air Sunday morning, Jesus Hernandez Mendoza, head of the Regional State Civil Protection Institute, said the seismic activity was within scenarios provided by Mexico's Scientific Advisory Board, and thus no cause for alarm.

Ash falling from the sky was reported in several neighboring communities, the newspaper El Sol de Cuautla reported Monday.

The eruption follows several earthquakes were reported in southern and central Mexico. Several magnitude-6 earthquakes struck Wednesday, but without damage, and a March 20 earthquake damaged buildings in the states of Oaxaca and Guerrero, the Houston Chronicle said Monday.

© 2012 United Press International, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Any reproduction, republication, redistribution and/or modification of any UPI content is expressly prohibited without UPI's prior written consent.
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