The activity of the Popocatéptl volcano, located 70 kilometers from Mexico City, could increase and cause more explosions, but the "population does not have to worry because there is no imminent risk of eruption," a specialist said Friday.
According to the director of research of the National Center for Disaster Prevention (Cenapred), Carlos Gutiérrez, the warning light is currently in phase 3 yellow, which indicates that the population must be kept informed and ready in case the activity increases. and you have to evacuate.
Although it could happen that the volcanic cone broke in a big explosion and could even expel lava and flows of gases and incandescent material, there is a "mapping" that would provide it with enough time to act, he said.
If one of these situations were to occur, the traffic light would go to the red level, the risk zone of 12 to 15 kilometers around the Popocatépetl would be increased and the evacuation of people from nearby towns would begin.
However, he insisted that, despite the increased risk, the measures currently being taken guarantee the safety of the population.
These days the Cenapred recommends that you do not practice sports outdoors, that food and water tanks are covered and that they plug holes in doors and windows due to "the fall of ash that will move depending on the wind", arriving up to 14 kilometers around the volcanic cone, explained Gutiérrez.
The change of level 2 to 3 of alert within the yellow phase was due to the fact that, unlike the previous months, in the recent explosions there was no dome (a "plug" that causes the lava to solidify at a little distance from the crater chimney).
The expert said that today there is a "monitoring" and a diagnosis, prepared by volcanologists and specialists of the Cenapred, which allow you to know, by observing deformations in the body of the volcano or other precursors, what will happen with a margin greater than "minutes or hours", which would be really dangerous.
Gutiérrez sent a message of calm to the population not because of the lack of possibilities for more activity in Popocatépetl, but because of the number of measures that are being taken and the quality of their preparation.