Mt. Popocatepetl is one of the most important volcanoes on the entire planet, and yet most Americans are not familiar with it. In ancient Aztec, Popocatepetl means “smoking mountain”, but to the locals the 5,426-meter-high volcano is simply known as “Don Goyo”. A catastrophic eruption of “Don Goyo” would be a nightmare scenario for the more than 20 million people living in the Mexico City metropolitan area, and that is why authorities are watching Mt. Popocatepetl very closely at the moment. In fact, we are being warned that the eruption that just took place could be a precursor to an even larger eruption…
Chilling footage showing the violent eruption emerged online amid fears there could be more.
A huge plume of smoke blasted three kilometres in to the air from the summit of Popocatepetl after a series explosions over the course of 24 hours.
Surrounding towns were blanketed with ash and debris and authorities are now warning a bigger eruption could threaten the 23.6million inhabitants in the Mexican capital, located just 35 miles (56km) away.
This latest eruption actually resulted in what is known as a “volcanotectonic earthquake”. Such quakes are caused by the movement of magma, and scientists are very concerned about what that might mean.
“Don Goyo” has been spewing ash regularly since early this month, and at this point local residents are being told to remain indoors…
Locals have been warned to avoid outdoor activities and to keep doors and windows shut, and it is not yet clear when they can leave their homes.
It has been emitting ash since the beginning of the month, reports suggest, before a string of explosions.
Of course the activity at Mt. Popocatepetl has been ramping up for quite a while. Back on September 19th, a magnitude 7.1 earthquake that affected Mexico City also triggered a minor eruption of the volcano.
But minor eruptions can be handled. What we want to avoid is the kind of catastrophic eruption that has given Popocatepetl legendary status. In fact, we are told that at one time enormous mud flows from the volcano buried entire Aztec cities…