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Volcano Spouts Ash Near Mexico City April 19, 2013
Steam rising from earlier activity at Popocatépetl, located just to the southeast of Mexico City.
Mexico’s famed Popocatépetl volcano spewed a large cloud of dense ash that fell to the ground in several towns near Mexico City.

The towns of San Nicolas de los Ranchos, Huejotzingo and parts of Puebla reported receiving a dusting of ash.

But Mexico’s National Disaster Prevention Center said the ash was blown away from the nearby capital, Mexico City, by prevailing westerly winds.

“Popo” occasionally produces blasts of steam and ash, which are sometimes accompanied by glowing rocks.

Blasts last May were much more powerful, prompting residents of nearby villages to rush into town squares during the middle of the night.

A major eruption in 2000 forced 50,000 people to evacuate in three states that surround the towering mountain.