November 29, 1998
Volcano erupts with ash near Mexico City


                  MEXICO CITY (AP) -- Glowing embers from Popocatepetl volcano on
                  the outskirts of Mexico City showered nearby villages Sunday, part of an
                  eruption that launched vapor and ash more than two miles into the air.

                  The National Center for Disaster Prevention said three early-morning
                  explosions inside the volcano were followed by several earth tremors.

                  Authorities said there was no immediate risk to the 300,000 people who live
                  on the mountain's slopes. About 15 million people live within a 50-mile
                  radius of the volcano, which has been active since 1994 and regularly emits
                  gas and steam.

                  Soldiers increased patrols to keep climbers and hikers at least four miles
                  away from the crater of the volcano, whose name means "Smoking
                  Mountain" in the Aztec language.

                  The Mexico City government said it was setting up more than 100
                  temporary shelters capable of housing 53,000 people in the event that
                  evacuations are ordered, radio reports said.

                  Meanwhile, authorities monitoring the Colima volcano about 300 miles west
                  of Mexico City said Sunday it was still too early to allow 500 residents to
                  return to villages threatened by lava flows, Formato 21 radio reported.

                  On Saturday, the Colima volcano or Volcan de Fuego -- "The Volcano of
                  Fire" -- let loose a lava flow 2.5 miles long and half a mile wide, Notimex

                  Copyright 1998 The Associated Pres