Mexico’s famed Popocatepetl volcano, known affectionately in those parts as Popo, has been feisty lately, spewing out ash and lava 300 times in May and fueling predictions for a major eruption at any time.
On June 18 a local webcam caught the biggest eruption in two years. It released a massive ash cloud that shot more than a mile skyward and flung “incandescent fragments” for nearly 330 feet, Mexico’s National Disaster Prevention Center (Cenapred) said of the 2:48 p.m. explosion. Homes were rattled as far as 15 miles away.
It was nothing new for the area, since the region surrounding the 18,000-foot-high volcano just outside Mexico City has been on Yellow Alert, Phase 2 for a while, volcanologist at Denison University told the New York Daily News.
"It's been in effect a few months now," said the volcanologist, Erik Klemetti. "That alert says that at any time it could have an explosion like this." (Related: Legendary Mexican Volcano Blanketing Indigenous Regions in Ash)
The webcam’s remarkable footage, condensed from 10-20 minutes into 30 seconds, is below. (Related: Mexico's Popocatépetl Seen From Space)