The Popocatépetl volcano in Mexico has raised alarm as its alert level was raised to “yellow phase three” on Sunday. The volcano, located 70km southeast of Mexico City, sent ash and tremors into the air, prompting the closure of airports in Mexico City and Puebla.
The ash from the volcano, the first time in about a decade, covered the capital of the state of Puebla, while the main airport in Mexico City halted flights for almost six hours on Saturday. Aeroméxico reported a “high influx” of passengers after the activity of Popocatépetl affected flights, resulting in the cancellation of 29 flights from Cancún to Mexico City and Puebla.
Officials have been ordered to check evacuation routes and emergency shelters in case of need, with face-to-face classes suspended and replaced by distance education programs in 40 municipalities. Mexico City Mayor Claudia Sheinbaum, however, reported that there was no evidence that the ashes reached the capital.
The panel of experts that recommended the increase in the alert level to “yellow phase three” said that the public should remain in a “phase of alert, not alarm”. Residents near the volcano have been urged to prepare for the possibility of evacuations.
The increase in the alert level of the Popocatépetl volcano has left Mexico on edge, as more tremors and ash explosions are expected in the coming days.