Around 2:30 a.m. local time on Monday, April 18, 2016, giant Popocatépetl volcano – Mexico’s most active volcano – erupted again in an especially explosive way. The videos on this page show the eruption, which spewed ash 2 miles (3 km) into the sky, and hurled hot rocks and lava upward. The ash began drifting to the east.
Popocatépetl is just 43 miles (70 km) southeast of Mexico City, which the WorldAtlas.com lists as the world’s 12th largest city with 20 million residents. If you live in Mexico City, and it’s a clear day, you can clearly see Popocatépetl. Locals call it El Popo.
Farther away from the volcano – but directly east and apparently downwind of this week’s eruption – is the town of Puebla (about 90 miles or 150 km away). The Puebla airport was shut down Monday, and officials were urging residents to wear masks and avoid inhaling ash covering the city.
Popocatépetl a 17,797-foot stratovolcano and the second-highest peak in Mexico. Spanish explorers in Mexico in 1519 documented the earliest known eruptions. In our time, the volcano was dormant for nearly half a century, but then it erupted in 1991. Since 1993, Mexico City residents have seen smoke billowing constantly from Popocatépetl.
The volcano’s first major eruption since 2000 began in March, 2016.
Since then, from time to time, Popocatépetl has been putting on a show!
Bottom line: Videos of April 18, 2016 eruption of Mexico’s Popocatépetl volcano.
Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and EarthSky.org in 1994. Today, she serves as Editor-in-Chief of this website. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. A science communicator and educator since 1976, Byrd believes in science as a force for good in the world and a vital tool for the 21st century. "Being an EarthSky editor is like hosting a big global party for cool nature-lovers," she says.