Jan. 10 (UPI) -- Mexico's most active volcano set off a spectacular eruption this week, and it was captured by time-lapse photos that underscore the intensity of the seismic event.
The Popocatépetl stratovolcano erupted Thursday and the photos were captured by civil defense officials.
Also known as El Popo, the volcano is located 40 miles southeast of Mexico City and is the nation's second-tallest peak, at nearly 18,500 feet.
Scientists classify the event as a medium-level eruption, which came after Mexican officials issued a volcanic alert and warnings not to get too close to the Central Mexican mountain. No injuries were reported.
Popocatépetl erupts so frequently there's almost a constant camera presence around the volcano. Thursday's images showed bright, multicolored lava flows and twisting clouds of ash and rocks ascending into the clear sky. The debris columns reached about 2 miles into the atmosphere, officials said.