Mexico's Popocatépetl volcano spews lava fragments

Andrew V. Pestano

May 19 (UPI) -- Mexico's National Center for Disaster Prevention said the Popocatépetl volcano launched incandescent lava fragments more than half a mile away from its crater.

The disaster prevention center, or CENAPRED, on Thursday said Popocatépetl erupted 19 times in the prior 24 hours, had 82 volcanic plumes and had five volcano tectonic earthquakes -- measuring in magnitudes 1.5, 1.6, 1.5, 1.4 and 1.3 , respectively.


CENAPRED also said it recorded 20 minutes of a low-amplitude harmonic tremor, as well as a plume mostly of water vapor and gas with low ash content that lasted nearly three hours and rose up to 1.2 miles.

Popocatépetl was dormant for decades before it erupted in 1994. Since then, minor volcanic activity have been part of daily life for residents living in nearby towns.

Popocatépetl is about 43 miles southeast of Mexico City. Nearby residents are under CENAPRED's Yellow Alert Phase Two -- the medium warning prior to the Red Alert, which usually prompts evacuations.

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