After a week of rumbling eruptions, Popocatépetl volcano is finally slowing down. The central Mexican volcano has been showing signs of activity, releasing smoke and a lot more since May 15. But the eruptions are finally stopping, and the volcano is emitting less ash this week, President Andrés Manuel López Obrador said during a Tuesday press conference, according to CNN.
Mexican officials had initially advised area residents to prepare for evacuation in case volcanic activity intensified. On Sunday, about 3 million people in towns near the peak were on high alert. Airports delayed flights into Mexico City, and schools in nearby municipalities closed, CNN reported.
There are about 25 million people in the 60 mile radius of the volcano, NPR reported. It’s located 45 miles southeast of Mexico City, the largest metropolitan area in North America. The air quality index over communities in the state of Puebla has decreased due to the particles in the air. Residents in that state have been encouraged to wear protective gear, like masks, to avoid breathing in the polluted air.
Popocatépetl was dormant for decades before erupting in 1994. Since then, its occasional rumbles and eruptions have become a regular occurrence for people living nearby. You can click through to see photos of the active volcano, and how its spewing ash over the surrounding towns in Mexico.
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