Sunday, May 21, 2023

"Popo" Is Restless

The volcano Popocatépetl (known as "Popo" for short) has erupted numerous times over the centuries that records have been kept.  There was a major eruption in 1947, but after that the volcano was mostly quiet for nearly a half century.  Then in 1994 it came back to life spewing gas and ash and prompting the evacuation of nearby villages and the beginning of scientific monitoring of the peak.  Over the past three decades Popo has been fuming and occasionally erupting.  In 2000 there was another major eruption, and tens of thousands of people living close to the mountain were evacuated. 

In the past few days, the volcano has once again become very active.  There are some photos from the Mexican webcam site that I often look at.  This webcam is situated at Tlamacas, the site of a mountain-climbers' lodge which was shut down after the peak was closed to climbing due to increased volcanic activity.

11:00 P.M., Friday, May 19th

1:00 A.M. Saturday, May 20th

Mainly quiet at 8:00 A.M. Saturday, May 20th

Spewing ash again at 3:00 P.M Saturday, May 20th

6:00 P.M. Saturday May 20th

8:36 A.M. Sunday, May 21st

Most of today, the mountain was obscured by clouds, but just a couple hours ago, the clouds parted enough to reveal that Popo was still spewing ash.

Usually, it is the Valley of Puebla to the east of the volcano (the other side from Mexico City) that is most affected by falling ash.  Schools in several towns were closed on Friday, and yesterday Puebla Airport was closed.  This morning the citizens of the city of Puebla woke to skies gray with ash. However, this time Mexico City is getting some of the volcanic ash.  Mexico City Airport was closed for six hours yesterday and, according to Alejandro, a few hours this morning.  His sister has been sweeping a fine layer of ash from the terrace.

One of Alejandro's mountain-climbing friends ascended the mountain Iztaccíhuatl this weekend, and he took this spectacular video looking toward Popo.

You may be asking, "Why are you moving to this land of erupting volcanoes?"  I really don't think that I am going to have a role in the remake of "The Last Days of Pompeii".  Mexico City is more than forty miles from Popo... Pompeii was only ten miles from Vesuvius.  I certainly wouldn't want to live in one of the villages on the flanks of the mountain, but I think it would take a cataclysmic eruption to effect Mexico City.  (Fingers crossed.)


  1. That video is fascinating to watch on my computer from 2300 miles away!