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