Mexico – March 7th, 2013
A thick white pillar of steam and ash from Mexico’s Popocatépetl volcano fans out as it blows east-northeastward. The volcano has been showing signs of activity since February 2013, and according to reports is now entering a new phase of increased activity. Accompanied by strong tremor, a continuous ash and steam emission column is rising to 23,000 ft (7 km) altitude and drifting in the wind.
Popocatépetl is an active volcano located in the states of Puebla, State of Mexico, and Morelos, in Central Mexico, and lies in the eastern half of the Trans-Mexican volcanic belt. At 5,426 m (17,802 ft) it is the second highest peak in Mexico, after the Pico de Orizaba at 5,636 m (18,491 ft).
It is linked to the Iztaccihuatl volcano to the north by the high saddle known as the Paso de Cortés.
Popocatepetl is 70 km (43 mi) southeast of Mexico City, from where it can be seen regularly, depending on atmospheric conditions. Until recently, the volcano was one of three tall peaks in Mexico to contain glaciers, the others being Iztaccihuatl and Pico de Orizaba. In the 1990s, the glaciers such as Glaciar Norte (North Glacier) greatly decreased in size, partly due to warmer temperatures but largely due to increased volcanic activity.