The Washington Volcanic Ash Advisory Centre (VAAC) warned an explosion at the volcano in central Mexico had taken place at 9.38 pm local time.
Mexico’s National Centre for Disaster Prevention (CENAPRED) said the blast had sent a column of ash around 1.2km into the air.
There were no immediate reports of any injuries or damage caused as a result of the incident.
“CENAPRED urges the public not to approach the volcano and especially the crater, because of the danger involved in the fall of ballistic fragments,” the agency said in a statement.
The Mexican government has issued a “yellow phase two” volcano alert following the eruption, setting up a 7-and-a-half mile exclusion zone around the summit.
Authorities warned small to intermediate-sized explosions, ash rain in nearby towns and mudflows could all follow.
Popcatepetl, which gets its name from a Nahuatl-language phrase meaning “smoking mountain”, sits around 43 miles southeast of Mexico City.
The volcano had been dormant for almost 50 years, before smoke started emanating from the crater again in the early 1990s.
Since then, it has seen sporadic activity and several significant eruptions are recorded each year by CENAPRED and the Washington VAAC.
Popocatepetl is Mexico’s most famous volcano and remains its largest active volcano and has seen increased activity over the last few weeks.
Mexico has more than 3,000 volcanoes but only 14 are considered active.
Local authorities are currently preparing for the worst case scenarios and haven’t ruled out more eruptions in the near future.
Source: Yahoo News