Mexican volcano spews smoke, ash
The activity began about 5 a.m. (1100 GMT), producing a long billowing
of smoke over the crater, but showing no signs of any major eruptive activity, said
Roberto Quass, director of the National Disaster Prevention Agency.
Quass said the latest rumblings were likely due to the formation of a new
within the crater of the 17,886-foot (5,366-meter) volcano, which has been
shooting out ash and rock intermittently since December 1994.
But he said the activity had diminished during the morning and that there
plans to evacuate nearby residents or augment precautionary measures, which
currently prohibit people from going within 12 kilometers (7 miles) of the crater.
The volcano, located about 40 miles (65 kms) south of Mexico City, has
closely monitored since December 18, 2000, when it staged its most violent
eruption in 1,200 years, spewing red-hot rock and convincing thousands who live
at its base to flee to shelters set up in safe areas.
Popocatepetl is visible from Mexico City, the largest metropolis in the Americas.
Yet a full-blown eruption would likely only dust the metropolitan area's
residents with ash.
Copyright 2002 The Associated Press.