Saturday, November 25, 2023

Explosions, two-kilometer ash plumes at El Popo volcano

The restless Popocatépetl volcano had a very active 24 hours starting yesterday morning, with several explosions and ash plumes that rose as high as two kilometers above the mountain.

The National Disaster Prevention Center (Cenapred) said this morning it had identified 20 gas and water vapor exhalations at El Popo, with the first three recorded yesterday at 9:56am. The most recent was recorded this morning at 7:04.

Wind sent the ash in a north-northeast direction away from the crater.

There were also two recorded episodes of harmonic tremors — a sustained release of seismic and infrasonic energy typically associated with the underground movement of magma — lasting five and 10 hours respectively.

There was a slight ash fall in the Tlaxcala towns of Tlaxco, Xalostoc, Nativitas, Hueyotlipan, Amaxac de Guerrero, Tepetitlá de Lardizábal and Texoloc.

Cenapred said the activity was expected to continue, as will the wind direction.

The agency advises the public to stay away from the volcano, especially from its crater, due to the release of water vapor and gas plumes and a light fall of ash in nearby areas, along with incandescent fragments.

The alert level also warns of the possibility of eruptions causing pyroclastic flows and mudslides carrying debris, although at such a small scale that evacuation of neighboring inhabited areas is not required.

A security perimeter is in place in a 12-kilometer radius of the crater, and traffic is controlled at Paso de Cortés between the towns of Santiago Xalitzintla and San Pedro Nexapa.

In case of rain, people should avoid deep ravines due to the slide hazard.

Source: El Financiero (sp)

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