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SHAKE AND BLOW
Mexico volcano spits ash on towns
by Staff Writers
Puebla, Mexico (AFP) April 18, 2016


The huge Popocatepetl volcano near Mexico City spat burning ash over nearby towns on Monday and forced the closure of an airport, officials said.

The giant crater 55 kilometers (34 miles) from the capital belched out a three-kilometer high column of ash, the National Disaster Prevention Center said.

Overnight, around 0732 GMT, "an increase in activity was detected, accompanied by the continuous emission of burning fragments," it said.

The dust covered nearby villages and the central city of Puebla.

Authorities advised locals to stay indoors and keep at least 12 kilometers away from the 5,452-meter peak.

Officials said Puebla's international airport shut down operations on Monday morning so that workers could clear away fallen ash.

In 2000, people were evacuated from the area around Popocatepetl during a period of intense volcanic activity.

Some 4.5 million people live within 50 kilometers of the volcano.


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In 1816, summer failed to make an appearance in central Europe and people were starving. Just a year earlier, the Tambora volcano had erupted in Indonesia, spewing huge amounts of ash and sulphur into the atmosphere. As these particles partly blocked sunlight, cooling the climate, it had a serious impact on the land and the people, even in Switzerland. Since then, volcanologists have devel ... read more


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