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The world’s most dangerous volcano has erupted 70km (40 miles) from Mexico City,
sending plumes of ash and water vapour into the sky. A heavy plume of ash covered the sky over Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano early Friday morning as glowing rock shot out from its crater. Webcam images on the site of the National Disaster Prevention Center showed the plume rising from the top of the 17,886-foot (5,450-meter) peak at dawn, though clouds obscured the volcano for people further away. The Televisa television network broadcast images of red, glowing material rising from the crater and falling on its slopes. Popocatepetl, which means “Smoking Mountain” in the indigenous Nahuatl language is Mexico’s second-highest peak. Authorities this week raised the alert level due to increasing activity at the volcano, whose most violent eruption in 1,200 years occurred on December 18, 2000. The coordinator general for civil protection, Laura Gurza, told Televisa that officials were not yet ready to order any evacuations, but urged people living near the mountain to be “very, very attentive” to action at the volcano, which is about 70km (40 miles) from Mexico City. She also urged them to gather important papers and to have their escape routes planned in case they have to leave. The ash was blowing to the northeast, in the general direction of the city of Puebla. More than 30 million people live within view of the volcano, which sits at a point where the states of Mexico, Puebla, and Morelos come together. It has been erupting intermittently since December 1994.