The National Coordination of Civil Protection of Mexico raised this Thursday to phase 3 the level of alert for the volcanic activity of Popocatépetl, near the Mexican capital, after the last recorded explosions.
"To the population we recommend to raise your attention to the notices of the authorities of your locality and, of course, we exhort you not to approach the volcano, as we have been recommending, let alone the crater," David León said at a press conference. holder of the organism.
Authorities decided to raise the level of alert after detecting changes in volcanic activity, after there have been explosions within the duct system of the volcanic colossus, with an increase in the magmatic material.
"The National Coordination of Civil Protection has decided to modify the traffic light of yellow volcanic alert phase 2 to yellow phase 3, which is a preventive measure to the changes we are observing," said Leon.
According to the National Center for Disaster Prevention (Cenapred), the yellow traffic light phase 3 is activated when the volcano has a high activity, with strong explosions, fumaroles, slight fall of ash and gas emissions.
According to a Cenapred report, in the last 24 hours, 61 exhalations have been detected, accompanied by water vapor, volcanic gases and low ash content.
"An explosion was also recorded today at 06.50 local time (12.50 GMT), which generated a column of 2.5 km with moderate ash content, which was dispersed to the southeast, and fragments were observed on the slopes of the volcano at a distance of approximately 1000 meters, "said the agency.
The level of yellow alert phase 3 implies that the authorities must be prepared for possible evacuations.
Therefore, León informed that work is being done to ensure that the evacuation routes are signposted and in good condition, the status of the shelters is being verified and the evacuation procedures and coordination mechanisms between institutions are being reviewed.
In addition, transit control mechanisms were established between the towns of Santiago Xalizintla and San Pedro, near Popocatépetl.
The level after the yellow traffic light phase 3 is the red traffic light phase 1, in which the volcanic activity poses a danger to the population, with the release of incandescent fragments and significant ash fall.
On March 19, Popocatépetl, whose name means "hill that smokes" in the Nahuatl language, recorded a strong explosion with emission of ash that reached a height of 1.2 kilometers, and incandescent material.
The volcano threw fragments 2.5 kilometers away on its slopes during a series of exhalations recorded after the explosion, which led to activate a yellow volcanic alert in phase 2.