Mexico, Popocatepetl volcano at risk of eruption: smoke from the crater. VIDEO

In Mexico the Popocatepetl volcano is making itself felt: it spews smoke and ash so much so that the Mexican Disaster Prevention Center has issued a yellow alert for a possible eruption. Popocatépetl, which means “Smoking Hill” in the native Aztec language Nahuatl, is located in central Mexico and is one of the most dangerous active volcanoes in Latin America and is among the most monitored in the world. It rises just 72 km south-east of Mexico City, which is home to around 9 million people; 22 million if you include the metropolitan area.

The last eruption in 2000

Popocatepetl resumed its eruptive activity in 1994. Also known as Popo or Don Goyo, it is one of the most active volcanoes in Mexico: 18 eruptions have been recorded since 1354. Currently its activity is moderate, but constant, with emissions of fumaroles, composed of gas and water vapor, and sudden and unexpected minor eruptions of ash and volcanic material. The last violent eruption of the volcano was recorded in December 2000. Already in May Popocatepetl had begun to show signs of recovery. The volcano, during the pre-Columbian era, was an Aztec divinity recipient of an exclusive cult. Nowadays the cult survives in a minority or symbolic form.