Thar she blows!
Mexico’s Popocatépetl volcano gave quite a show on Monday. "Popo," as it's called, is located about 40 miles from densely populated Mexico City and is closely monitored for volcanic activity. That means that the explosive spewing was caught on tape.
The eruption of ash and cinder caused an eruption column more than 2 miles high, and the explosion was felt 25 miles away. Amazingly, all that cinematic drama didn’t ring alarm bells for geologists.
“The eruption was actually fairly typical for Popo,” Erik Klemetti, volcanologist at Denison University in Granville, Ohio, wrote to Yahoo News in an email.
When in these periods of activity, the style of eruption causes "occasional explosions that destroy the lava dome in the crater. This is what occurred earlier this week and is common at Popo and volcanoes like it,” he added.
Although Klemetti noted that this was actually a pretty big explosion for Popo—lasting about 30 mintues (the video is time-lapsed)—he said the ash hazard is minimal because the relatively small amount disperses quickly .