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With 30 million Mexicans living within sight of the volcano, civil protection authorities are telling those nearby to prepare for a possible evacuation.
A plume of ash was headed east toward the state capital of Puebla from Mexico’s Popocatépetl volcano, which continued its eruptions today, according to The Associated Press.
The volcano sent towers of smoke skyward and superheated rock spilling down its sides, waking the residents of the village of Xalitzintla far below, according to the news agency, which cited the National Disaster Prevention Center as saying that eruptions had stopped in the early morning, only to start up again at 5 am, with at least 12 eruptions in two hours.
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NASA produced this four-second video of the Popocatépetl ash cloud:
According to the space agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration's Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite, GOES-13, has been recording the ash cloud. The video shows the ash cloud which formed Wednesday as it blows over the capital of Puebla.
The word Popocatépetl means “smoking mountain” in Aztec. More than 30 million people live within in site of the mountain, according to NASA.
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According to Fox News Latino, civil protection official Laura Gurza, told a television station that Mexican authorities were not yet ready to order any evictions but called on those near the mountain, which is about 40 miles from Mexico City, to be “very, very attentive” and to prepare for the possibility of having to escape.