Popocatepetl volcano in Mexico is ready to erupt


Up to 25 millions people in Mexico who live in a 69-mile radius around volcano Popocatepetl were warned to be prepared for evacuation. The volcano spewed gas, smoke and ash Monday, leading education authorities to suspend in-person classes in parts of three states. Tremors were registered. Flights were suspended for hours at Mexico City’s Benito Juarez International Airport. Popocatepetl, in the central region of the country, sometimes referred to as a god of rain or the community’s heartbeat, has been active since 1994 and is closely monitored by scientists. The expulsion of magma is possible, the center said. Mild to moderate explosions that hurl incandescent rock fragments within the volcano’s crater were expected first.


President Andrés Manuel López Obrador of Mexico said at a news conference on Monday morning that he was in contact with federal and local officials about the volcano. Shelters for evacuation were prepared. It was unclear on Monday how long this period of raised volcanic activity would continue. On Monday afternoon, officials suspended operations at Hermanos Serdán International Airport, a small facility in Puebla. The National Disaster Prevention Center urged residents who live near the volcano to avoid going outdoors as much as possible. The Ministry of National Defense (Sedena) said Sunday that members of the National Guard, army and air force had joined forces with municipal, state and federal Civil Protection personnel to form a Joint Popocatépetl Task Force.