Mexico's 'Popo' volcano rumbles, Colima settles
MEXICO CITY (Reuters) -- Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano spewed ash,
gas and steam two miles (3.2 kms) into the sky on Monday, while the threat
of a violent eruption at the country's other volcano, Colima, receded,
Mexico's disaster prevention body said Popocatepetl, just 40 miles (65
kms) southeast of Mexico City and its 18 million inhabitants, may be forming
a new lava body in its crater though the state of alert remained at "yellow." A
"red" alert would mean the evacuation of at least 70,000 people.
"In the past 12 hours, about 100 exhalations have been recorded. This
activity suggests that a new lava body is growing inside the crater," the
agency, known as Cenapred, said in a bulletin.
On the borders of the western states of Jalisco and Colima, meanwhile,
some 430 miles (690 kms) northwest of Mexico City, authorities on
Monday allowed some people to return to their homes in the shadow of the
Colima volcano after it released a stream of lava but did not seem about to
"The 119 people evacuated (over the weekend) by the state of Jalisco are
going home because we have decided there is no risk," said Jalisco Civil
Protection spokesman Gustavo Ramirez.
In Colima, state spokeswoman Beatriz Torres told Reuters that 150 people
evacuated from the village of La Yerbabuena, 4.4 miles (7 kms) from
Colima's crater, would remain in emergency shelters for the time being.
The Colima volcano, known as the "Volcano of Fire," is ranked as Mexico's
most active, having erupted some 25 times in the past 500 years. The last
major eruption took place in 1913, and authorities have been monitoring it
closely since June, when rumblings resumed.
Popocatepetl, likewise, has been threatening to erupt for years. Last year,
erupted 31 times. In June 1997, "Popo" covered Mexico City with a thin
film of ash and temporarily closed the international airport.
Copyright 1998 Reuters.