The Volcán Popocatépetl volcano in central Mexico has been spewing smoke and ash over the past week, leading authorities to raise the alert level to yellow, the second-highest level on the five-tier warning system.
The alert level of the volcano, located approximately 40 miles southeast of Mexico City, was raised on August 12 in response to an increase in seismic activity and elevation of its alert status to yellow. Geophysicists at University of Mexico warned that an eruption may occur in the near future, although no timeframe has been provided.
The National Disaster Prevention Center issued a notice to the public explaining the heightened alert level and the potential geological risks that come with it. Residents and visitors near the volcano have been cautioned to remain on alert and to remain informed about updates regarding the volcano.
A five-kilometer radius of the volcano and the nearby towns of Ovalle, Chromango and Los Hernadizos have been declared a restricted area by the National Civil Protection Service. The perimeter is closed to tourism activities and other activities which bring people in contact with the volcano.
The volcano last showed activity in 2013, when a small explosion occurred at its crater. It is monitored around the clock by the Mexican