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Mexicans prepare to flee volcano

Popocatepetl volcano spewing ash. Associated Press/Photo by Marco Ugarte

Mexicans prepare to flee volcano

Mexican officials on Monday prepared evacuation routes and shelters in case the roughly 25 million people living around Popocatépetl volcano need to leave. Authorities said the volcano in central Mexico—which is already spewing ash on nearby towns—could start hurling rocks and lava soon. On Sunday, the National Disaster Prevention Center of Mexico raised the alert level to Phase 3—one phase shy of evacuation orders. 

Has it erupted before? The volcano had been dormant for decades before a 1994 eruption. It’s been rumbling since then and had a major eruption in 2000, prompting the evacuation of 50,000 people. Recently, authorities temporarily closed Mexico City’s Benito Juárez International Airport, which is near the volcano, because of ash in the air. Flights may be canceled or airports closed with “little or no warning,” the U.S. Embassy in Mexico said.

Dig deeper: Read Max Belz’s review of the film Fire of Love about two French volcanologists.

Mary Muncy

Mary Muncy is a breaking news reporter for WORLD. She graduated from World Journalism Institute and Patrick Henry College.

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