Major explosions at Popocatepetl volcano, Mexico

Major explosions at Popocatepetl volcano, Mexico

Seven moderate and two major explosions took place at Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano on August 13, 2019.

Popocatepetl monitoring network detected 209 exhalations in 24 hours to 16:00 UTC on August 13, accompanied by steam, gas and ash emissions, and 496 minutes of low amplitude tremor.

There were 7 moderate and 2 major explosions during the same period.

Volcanic ash cloud was observed rising up to 7.1 km (23 000 feet) above sea level.

"Multiple volcanic ash emission observed in webcam this morning with many light volcanic ash clouds observed extending out to over 200 nautical miles 370 km (230 miles) W to WSW of the summit," the Washington VAAC reported 18:56 UTC.

Officials urge everyone to respect the 12 km (7 miles) restriction zone and stay away from the volcano, especially near the crater.

Unfortunately, it seems some of the people don't want to listen, risking their lives to record a video:

The Alert Level remains at Yellow, Phase Two (middle level on a three-color scale).

Geological summary

Volcán Popocatépetl, whose name is the Aztec word for smoking mountain, rises 70 km (44 miles) SE of Mexico City to form North America's 2nd-highest volcano. The glacier-clad stratovolcano contains a steep-walled, 400 x 600 m (1 312 x 1 968 feet) wide crater.

The generally symmetrical volcano is modified by the sharp-peaked Ventorrillo on the NW, a remnant of an earlier volcano.

At least three previous major cones were destroyed by gravitational failure during the Pleistocene, producing massive debris-avalanche deposits covering broad areas to the south. The modern volcano was constructed south of the late-Pleistocene to Holocene El Fraile cone.

Three major plinian eruptions, the most recent of which took place about 800 CE, have occurred from Popocatépetl since the mid Holocene, accompanied by pyroclastic flows and voluminous lahars that swept basins below the volcano. Frequent historical eruptions, first recorded in Aztec codices, have occurred since precolumbian time. (GVP)

Featured image credit: CENAPRED

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