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Eruption at Mexico's Popocatepetl Volcano Strengthens July 12, 2013
Popocatepetl Ash
Popocatepetl volcano spewing a plume of ash late in the afternoon on July 10, 2013.
Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano spewed ash 2 miles into the sky to the southeast of Mexico City, where residents of the capital awoke to find a fine layer of the volcanic debris on their cars.

Those who live much closer to the volcano, and those in the path of prevailing winds from around “Popo,” have endured much thicker accumulations, which have coated their crops and homes over the past few weeks as the volcano has erupted with greater force.

The ash has also polluted water supplies and stunted crop growth.

“Right now, we can’t use the water for bathing, for cooking. We can’t even give it to our animals,” said Agustina Perez Gutierrez, a housewife in San Pedro Nexapa, speaking to The Associated Press.

The eruption has even disrupted flights at Mexico City’s main airport with dozens of canceled flights.

The Environment Ministry has urged residents to use face masks to cope with the volcanic dust in the air, to covering water supplies and to stay indoors as needed.