Things That Matter

Check Out The Image Of Mexico’s Volcano Popocatépetl Erupting 14 Times In One Night

Popocatépetl is one of México’s most active volcanoes and is closely monitored by scientists. Known as “El Popo” by nearby residents, volcanic activity has become a part of everyday life for them. While everyone was sleeping Wednesday night, El Popo erupted 14 times in the span of six hours. Residents woke up to see El Popo spewing ash and steam well over one mile high into the sky. Since then, the explosions haven’t stopped. Another explosion occurred Thursday, followed by three minor explosions on Friday. An even larger explosion woke nearby residents at 6:45 a.m. Saturday morning.

Two of Wednesday’s explosions blasted incandescent, glowing fragments along the slope of the volcano, an occurrence last recorded at El Popo five years ago.

Typically, the “exhalations” are made of just steam, gas and ash.

Credit: @ericksa70180879 / Twitter

The wind predicts which of the surrounding cities will be covered in ash after an exhalation. That said, most residents are as ambivalent about ash raining down on them as they are water. The government is taking advice from scientists and advising residents to avoid going outside and to cover their nose and mouth when they do venture outdoors. Usually, ash and small earthquakes are to “El Popo”-adjacent Mexicanos like tropical storms are to the Cubanos of Miami.

Wednesday night, sightings of molten, incandescent lava spewing down the steep mountain slopes were anxiously recorded.

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Even though El Popo is the second largest volcano in the world, it’s not very common to observe the same kind of molten lava explosions we practiced for our second-grade science projects. In fact, Popocatépetl comes from the Nahuatl words popōca (“it smokes”) and tepētl (“mountain”). Popocatépetl mostly spews “smoke,” or rather, a mix of gas, steam, and ash. Molten lava is a rare sight and a signifier for the intensity of the activity. Once lava is observed, the crater can become unstable and cause nearby destruction.

The strong communities surrounding El Popo make it one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.

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The volcano towers at 17,802 ft tall, the second highest peak in México. It was formed about 50,000 years ago. Throughout its long history, it’s had major eruptions, including one 23,000 years ago that created an avalanche so strong, it stopped 43 miles from the summit. That said, in recorded history, El Popo only had one eruption in over 60 years until 1994. Since then, El Popo has become the most active volcano in México.

Setting down roots near El Popo means accepting seismic activity as a daily part of life. The nearby towns have experienced well over 7 hours of 2.4 magnitude earthquake activity in the last four days alone.

Some evacuations have been ordered for low-lying residents.

Credit: @NoticiasMXP / Twitter

México’s Center for Prevention of Disasters (CENAPRED) “emphasizes that people SHOULD NOT go near the volcano, especially near the crater, due to the hazard caused by ballistic fragments.” The center also warned that residents should evacuate low-lying ravine washes in the case of heavy rains because of the danger of landslides and debris flows.

Currently, the center’s “Volcanic Traffic Light” is set to “Yellow, Phase 2,” of three, which warns that residents should pay attention and prepare for a possible evacuation.

But residents don’t seem worried at all.

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“What I see when I arrive at work,” tweets one resident. The volcanic activity registers as a great photo op for a casual Wednesday morning at work. El Popo is just 43 miles southeast of México City, straddling Puebla, Morelos and the State of México in central México. The last major evacuation was in December 2000, when the government evacuated tens of thousands of residents just before Popocatépetl’s largest explosion in 1,200 years.

“La sismcidad habitual de nuestro país y la actividad del #Popocatépetl , no tienen relación directa entre sí,” tweeted one @almaxx5017. Making a jibe at her country’s either political or cultural news cycles, “Al Maxx” is saying that the “seismic-ness” of México and that of El Popo “have no direct correlation.”

Jaded residents are squashing any form of excitement from the volcanic naiveté.

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After someone shared a video to point out the lightning emanating from the falling ash, Antonio decided to give everyone a physics lesson. In Spanish, Antonio said, “Lightning is not a rare thing in volcanic eruptions, due to the enormous amount of crystals and microcrystals, which are present in the ash and thrown rocks, which, when colliding with each other, generate electrical charges.”

Yeah. It’s the microcrystals. Duh.

Some are not buying that explanation and think UFOs are far more likely.

Credit: @dzaragozac / Twitter

Don’t be alarmed, you guys. It’s just an exploding volcano and UFOs.

READ: [PHOTOS] A Volcano Eruption In Mexico Ws Captured On Social Media By Tourist Aboard A Flight

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Photo Of Volcanic Ash In The Shape Of La Calavera Catrina Is Going Viral


Photo Of Volcanic Ash In The Shape Of La Calavera Catrina Is Going Viral

Latinos are nothing if not superstitious. We see signs everywhere and quickly believe anything our abuelas tell us. The latest manifestation that is catching everyone’s attention is the image of La Calavera Catrina in volcanic ash. The volcano erupted in Mexico and the shape of the ash is honestly impressive.

The Popocatepetl volcano in Mexico put on a special show recently.

A resident living near the volcano captured a photo that showed the volcanic ash creating that face of La Calavera Catrina. La Calavera Catrina is one of the most famous symbols of the Day of the Dead celebrations. It is really easy to see the shape taking form in the volcanic ash that is rising over the city.

Naturally, the image is making its way around the world via social media.

Social media is good for sharing things like this far and wide. The internet loves a volcano eruption and Latinos love a superstitious or traditional sightings. This is obviously heightened in 2020 when travel is impossible and omens are literally everywhere.

People are using the natural phenomenon to educate people about La Catrina.

La Calavera Catrina was not always associated with Día de los Muertos. It was originally drawn by artist José Guadalupe Posada as satire to call out Mexicans striving to be European. The description for La Calavera Catrina included the word garbancera, which was a name given to Mexicans who rejected their indigenous backgrounds. The description further calls attention to the Mexican women who, like La Catrina, wore big hats and used so much makeup that their faces looked whiter and whiter.

Over the years, La Catrina became a symbol for Día de los Muertos.

Over many years, Posada’s image has become a major part of the Día de los Muertos celebrations throughout Mexico. La Catrina was always known after her creation, however, it was Diego Rivera who made her famous. The artist created a mural in the historic center of Mexico City across from Alameda.

Rivera added the body and dress to Posada’s original creation. La Catrina stands between Rivera and Posada in the mural that was painted between 1946 and 1947.

The history lesson is a welcomed accompaniment to the stunning natural phenomenon.

Who doesn’t like to see pieces of our history shared far and wide? The history of La Catrina is another moment to dispel the myths and misconceptions people have of Mexican and Latino culture.

READ: ‘La Calavera Catrina’ Is Getting Her Own Parade For ‘Día De Muertos’ In Mexico City This Year And We Have All The Deets

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Mexico’s Popocatépetl Volcano Erupted And Now People Think The World Is Coming To An End

Things That Matter

Mexico’s Popocatépetl Volcano Erupted And Now People Think The World Is Coming To An End

Three weeks into the New Year, and it feels like the end of times. Need proof? Australia is on fire, Puerto Rico won’t stop shaking, there’s flash flooding going on in various parts of the world, including here in the U.S., there are tornadoes in the southit’s snowing in Texas — and that’s just listing natural disasters. We haven’t gotten into the conflict with Iran that President Donald Trump started or the Ukrainian plane that was shot down during a missile strike. Now Mexico is dealing with another issue, and it has nothing to do with immigration. 

On Jan. 7, Mexico’s Popocatépetl volcano, which is located  40 miles southeast of Mexico City, erupted. Thankfully no one was hurt.

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The stunning images of Popocatépetl were impressive, to say the least, but people in the surrounding cities of Puebla and Mexico were warned to proceed with caution as the volcano is still active. Officials told people to remain cautious and keep their windows closed as ash continues to infiltrate the air. When the volcano erupted on Jan. 7 at around 6:30 a.m. local time, the mountain ejected ash and rock 20,000 feet into the sky. News outlets report that lava could also be seen from Popocatépetl. 

The name of the volcano — Popocatépetl — is an indigenous word that translates to “it smokes.” Locals call it El Popo. Since the Spanish acquisition, Popocatépetl has erupted at least 15 times, including last year.

Credit: @nwstampabay / Twitter

People in the surrounding areas were given a Yellow Alert advisory, which alerts them that “Volcano is exhibiting signs of elevated unrest above known background activity.” That alert is a bit vague. However, it is one of the least frightening volcano alerts. If they had been given an Orange Alert, which is a level above Yellow, then it would have certainly caused a bit more worry in the area. An Orange alert means, “Volcano is exhibiting heightened, or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption, timeframe uncertain OR an eruption is underway that poses limited hazards including no or minor volcanic-ash emissions.” Everything after that level would basically mean, run for your life. 

Last month in New Zealand, the eruption of the Whakaari on White Island resulted in 19 deaths.

Credit: @qz / Twitter

At the time of the eruption, only 47 people were on the small island, and many of them were tourists. Aside from the 19 casualties, 25 people were injured. 

Paramedic Russell Clark told CBS News that everything in sight was covered in ash. “I can only imagine what it was like for the people that were there at the time — they had nowhere to go and an absolutely terrible experience for them,” Clark said.

The Popocatépetl volcano isn’t the only active volcano currently.

Credit: @volcanodiscover / Twitter

Volcano Discovery reports that there are several active volcanos right now all over the world from Latin America to Japan. Clive Oppenheimer, professor of volcanology at the University of Cambridge, told the Telegraph in an interview that all of these eruptions are actually quite normal, and people should not be freaked out.  

“There have been quite a few eruptions in the news lately, so people question whether there’s an increase in rates of volcanism that we’re seeing just now, and this isn’t really the case,” Oppenheimer said. “Eruptions are happening all the time; some make the news headlines, and others don’t. He added, “If we look at the statistics back in time, the main thing we see is a reporting bias. There are not many eruptions during World War Two, for example, when people had other things to really worry about. So, of course, things will flare up in one place or another place, and then it will be very much how those eruptions affect people and whereabouts in the world [as to] whether that then becomes newsworthy.”

These eruptions may be typical, but with all the chaos going on in the world, people are still freaking out that it’s the end of the world.

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How much more can we expect?

It’s all too much and it’s not a coincidence.

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There’s no way to prepare for a natural disaster.

Let’s just pretend everything is okay.

Credit: @kylathecreative / Twitter

Denial never killed anyone. Right?

READ: Check Out The Image Of Mexico’s Volcano Popocatépetl Erupting 14 Times In One Night

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