The Popocatéptl Volcano in Mexico continues erupting; the Volcano has been spewing ash and steam regularly. However, it is now becoming more violent. Rocks have been flying outside of the crater.
On Sunday, the National Civil Protection Coordination increased the level to yellow phase 3; one more step is the dangerous red zone. The red phase will be to evacuate; as of now, they are on high alert.
The Volcano has been active since 1994, so the activity is not abnormal. However, the frequency has increased, and it explodes more violently, as well as near-constant tremors. Those who live near the Volcano have been told to prepare to evacuate, and schools have been closed in nearby towns. A total of 3 million people are on alert. It is also recommended to avoid being outdoors at this time due to the ash in the area.
Over 25 million people live within a 60-mile radius of the Volcano, including Mexico City, which is only 45 miles away. Mexico City mayor Claudia Sheinbaum stated:
"In the case of Mexico City, the risk is ash fall. We are prepared for that scenario, and we know what to do. Let's stay alert
The Mexico City airport was already shut down on Saturday due to volcanic ash, and flights continued to be delayed and canceled. The airport is open now; however, it could shut down again at a moment's notice.
Since May 15, there has been increased activity, and it is recommended that people not travel within a 7.5-mile radius of the Volcano. However, daily rumblings have become normal to those living in the area, and the fear diminishes when something becomes routine. Some even state The Volcano continues to be monitored as millions could be affected if a big eruption does happen.
Popocatépetl s the second-highest Volcano in North America and the most active in Mexico. The last violent eruption was in December of 2000; approximately 50,000 had to evacuate the area. Many residents state that ¨When nothing is happening, we worry¨. Other residents have voiced the following:
"my house shook almost all night, it was amazing,"
The Volcano will continue to be monitored, and if evacuation is needed, the authorities are prepared by driving the evacuation routes and preparing shelters.