The volcano Popocatépetl continues its recent eruptions. Here are some images from webcams that I just found. (Mexico City is two hours behind Eastern Daylight Time here in Ohio, so it is still dark there.)
The area around the volcano is on a "Phase Three - Yellow" alert, one step below a "Red" alert in which mandatory evacuations are enforced. Some of the news reports however make it sound as if the tens of millions of people that live in Mexico City and Puebla would all be evacuated. It is only the small towns at "Popo's" base that are on alert. And this is nothing new. In 2000 thousands of people near the mountain were evacuated from their villages when the volcano had its largest eruption in 1200 years.
One article I read this morning said that "huge swathes" of Mexico were covered in volcanic ash. Given the fact that Mexico is large country, 1/5 the size of the United States, that statement gives an exaggerated impression of the extent of the ashfall. Alejandro told me yesterday that the ash in Mexico City was not noticeable, and that the airport was open. The area most affected is the Valley of Puebla to the east of "Popo". There the airport has been closed since last weekend, and the city of Puebla is covered in a fine layer of volcanic ash. Here are a couple of phot that I found on the internet from Puebla.
Before finishing this blog entry, I checked the webcams again, and it is now daybreak. From Tlamacas at the base of the volcano you can see the plume of smoke and ash rising from "Popo". It's heading in an easterly direction toward the Valley of Puebla.
This is the view from the village of San Nicolás de los Ranchos, on the Puebla side of the volcano. I suspect that the haziness of the photo is due to the ash in the air.