There could be small to medium-sized explosions at El Popo following the appearance of a lava dome, authorities say.
After a flyover above the Popocatépetl volcano located in the states of Puebla and Morelos, National Disaster Prevention Center (Cenapred) staff have confirmed the formation of a 300-meter-diameter lava dome in its crater.
The dome, created by accumulated lava that then solidifies, could help contain the volcano’s pressure, thus increasing the risk of explosions in the next few days.
Low-intensity exhalations — the release of accumulated gases — and explosions have been recorded in recent days. One of the explosions expelled incandescent fragments up to two kilometers away from the crater.
This activity, along with some tremors, is related to the creation of the dome, said the agency.
After assessing the data, Cenapred has decided to keep the volcano alert on its yellow, phase two level. It also warned that moderate exhalations are expected, with some ash emission and sporadic explosions, that may expel incandescent fragments a short distance away. A slight incandescence may be also visible during the night.
The agency also reminded the public of the restricted zone, which extends in a 12-kilometer radius around the crater. Traffic controls continue on the Paso de Cortés, between the towns of Santiago Xalitzintla, in the state of Puebla, and San Pedro Nexapa, State of México.
Source: El Universal (sp)