Popocatépetl, June 18th



That is the view a few minutes ago from CENAPRED’s Tochimilco cam. It was the clearest view – the summit was pretty much socked in, and now is totally obscured.

That’s a plume going straight up, and its gray tinge suggests ash. It’s not as big as yesterday’s (though there is no way to tell now if it has increased). Popo does this a lot, though, so really, it’s not a change. Yet.

Also, the online webicorder PPIG is working and doesn’t show a lot of tremor, currently just kind of a slightly “fuzzy” signal that you see there when Don Goyo is just quietly smoking his pipe, so to speak.

I just wanted to follow up yesterday’s post and pass along the English version of CENAPRED’s bulletins today. Don Goyo did have an explosive event this afternoon, so they issued a mid-afternoon special bulletin.

June 18 15:35 h (June 18, 20:35 GMT)

Today at 14:48 h the monitoring system at Popocatepetl volcano registered an explosion, which threw incandescent fragments at distances of 100 m from the crater and generated an ash column nearly 2 km in height, which was dispersed towards the northwest, so it is possible that ash fall will be reported in towns of that area (see image). After this event, the volcano returned to its previous levels of activity. This type of event is contemplated within the present level of alert, so the Volcanic Alert Level remains at Yellow, Phase 2.

June 18 11:00 h (June 18, 16:00 GMT)

The monitoring system of Popocatepetl volcano recorded an explosion yesterday at 13:23 h which generated an eruption column of ash of more than 4 km in height and incandescent fragments released at distances up to 2 km from the crater, which by its high temperature caused small fires in the grasslands (see image 1), (see image 2). There were reports of ashfall in Tetela del Volcán, Ocuituco, Yecapixtla, Atlatlahucan, Cuautla, Tlayacapan, Yautepec, Jiutepec y Xochitepec in state of Morelos. Also in Ecatzingo, Atlautla y Ozumba in state of México.

In addition to this event, there were 144 exhalations of low and moderate intensity in the last 24 h, which were accompanied by the emission of steam, gas and ash occasionally. The most important were presented yesterday at 16:25 h (see image 3), 17:06 h (see image 4), and 22:40 h in which had not visibility. An today at 04:50 h (see image 5), y 07:02 h (see image 6). The eruption column usually moved west-southwest. During the night there was no clear view to the volcano. At the time of this report there is a slight emission of steam and gas that is directed to the southwest (see image 7).

The Volcanic Alert Level is at Yellow, Phase 2.

CENAPRED places particular emphasis in the following recommendations:

1. Access is restricted within a radius of 12 km from the crater. Permanence in this area is not allowed.

2. The road between Santiago Xalitzintla (Puebla) and San Pedro Nexapa (Mexico State), including Paso de Cortes, is open only to controlled traffic.

3. To the authorities of Civil Protection, maintain preventive procedures, according to operative plans.

4. To the population, be aware of the official information emmited.

Popocatepetl Volcano is monitored continuously 24 hours a day.

That last image is cool, because it shows a sort of amphitheater structure on the right side of the main volcano. See it?



People call it Ventorrillo today. It’s all that remains of Popo’s daddy, Nexpayantla volcano.

To us, barring the occasional Mount St. Helens type of catastrophic eruption, volcanoes seem permanent, because their “lives” are on a much longer time scale than ours. However, if you compare them to Earth’s long time span, volcanoes are pretty fidgety. Stratovolcanoes like the Colossus of Puebla tend to build up edifices (just as Mount St. Helens built up several edifices before 1980 and is now building up another one), destroy these and then repeat the cycle.

I just found an interesting, and easily readable but apparently well referenced, website on Popocatépetl that explains its long history. Enjoy!

Categories: volcanoes

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