MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -- Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano Tuesday
rumbled and spewed ash that could fall on Mexico City if prevailing winds
do not change, the country's interior ministry said.
"If winds stay at the current speed and direction, this afternoon and tonight
light rain of ash could fall over Mexico City," a statement from the ministry
The ministry said, however, that the volcano remained "stable" and the
government's amber warning alert remained in effect. A red alert would
force the evacuation of nearby villages and towns.
The 17,992-foot volcano, whose name means "smoking mountain" in the
Nahuatl Indian language, lies 40 miles southeast of the capital and has been
threatening an eruption for years.
In June 1997 it covered Mexico City with a thin film of ash and temporarily
closed the international airport. "Popo," as the volcano is commonly known,
has spat out mile-high clouds of ash and smoke several times this year.
Copyright 1998 Reuters Limited.