Popocatépetl volcano spews smoke and ash, putting millions of Mexicans on alert
Popocatépetl volcano just outside Mexico City has been erupting occasionally since 1994, but over the past week it has rumbled every day.
Scientists have recorded hundreds of explosions, and webcams trained on the volcano have shown it spewing incandescent material. From Mexico City, you can see a column of ash rising from the summit.
Like Mount Vesuvius in Italy and Mount St. Helens in Washington state, Popocatépetl is a stratovolcano capable of catastrophic, explosive eruptions, the last of which came around the year 800.
Scientists in Mexico say it's impossible to tell how long this new activity will last, or whether recent activity might lead to such a blast. But they say the 17,700-foot volcano, known locally as El Popo, will give enough warning to evacuate the millions who could be in danger.
Mexico has deployed about 7,000 troops to the region to help prepare for an evacuation if one is needed. More than 25 million people live within 60 miles of the peak.
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