THOUSANDS of people living by one of the world’s most dangerous volcanoes have been put on evacuation alert after the monster peak began spewing toxic gas and ash.

Tens of thousands of people live in the farming villages on the volcano’s flanks while roughly

25 million people live within a 60 mile radius.

Historians tell us that Popocatepetl had a dramatic impact on the ancient Aztecs. After a huge eruption giant mud flows produced by massive eruptions covered entire Aztec cities.  In fact, some of these mud flows were so large that they buried entire pyramids in super-heated mud.

But we haven’t witnessed anything like that in any of our lifetimes, so it is hard to even imagine devastation of that magnitude.

Mexico sits on the “Ring of Fire” that stretches along the outer rim of the Pacific Ocean.  Over the past couple of years seismic activity throughout this area has started to really heat up, and according to Volcano Discovery there are dozens of volcanoes associated with the Ring of Fire that have recently erupted.

That is why so many people are alarmed about the very unusual activity that we began to see from Popocatepetl starting in mid-September.  The following is from a report that was posted on September 23rd

CENAPRED reported that during 16-22 September the seismic network at Popocatépetl recorded 15-89 daily emissions consisting of water vapor, gas, and sometimes ash; cloud cover often prevented visual observations. Variable nighttime or morning crater incandescence was observed most days, and 1-13 daily explosions were registered.

In recent days, the activity at Popocatepetl seems to be getting stronger and more intense

Mexico City is not in a particularly safe location.  In addition to Popocatepetl, the city also sits in an area that is prone to experiencing earthquakes.  One of these days we could see an event that could destroy much or all of Mexico City, and if that happened the entire economy of Mexico would immediately collapse and millions of refugees would start streaming north.

So ultimately Popocatepetl is not just a Mexican problem.  If a major eruption took place, it would quickly become a U.S. problem too.

Thousands of people were placed on an evacuation warning this week

Thousands of people were placed on an evacuation warning this week

The Popocatépetl volcano, just 35 miles from Mexico City and only 20 miles from nearby cityPeubla sent a mile high plume of ash into the air, putting thousands of people living within 10 miles of it on a yellow alert to be ready to evacuate should activity increase.The Mexican capital is the world’s fourth most populated city and home to 20 million people, while Peubla has more than 6 million people living there, and all could be at risk in both cites in the event of a catastrophic eruption.

The volcano alert follows fears earlier this month that a second large volcano in Mexico – the 3,850 metres-high Colima in western Mexico – could be about to face a large scale eruption for the first time in 100 years.

Popocatépetl last saw a major eruption in 2000, but early warnings saw 41,000 people evacuated in advance, averting a major disaster.

In 2005 it had a minor eruption, but activity has been increasing since 2012, with this week’s some of the most notable, prompting officials to issue the warning.If the volcano experienced a massive eruption, an estimated nine million people would be in the blast zone and the impact on the atmosphere could be catastrophic.

Popocatépetl has erupted more than 20 times since 1519, according to records.

The glacier-covered peak is 5,426 metres-high.

Meanwhile Colima experienced a saw an ash cloud of 1.8 miles high expelled earlier this month.

This also put locals on standby for evacuations immediately afterwards.

This image of Popocatépetl at night shows how many people live around the fire mountain

This image of Popocatépetl at night shows how many people live around the fire mountain

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