Puebla, Mexico - Mexico's PopocatÚpetl Volcano, which lies 43 miles south east of Mexico City and is one of the Mexico's 14 active volcanoes, came to life Sunday morning. At about 9:30 am local time, the volcano shot a column of ash more than a mile high into the sky. The height of the eruption was estimated at some 6,500 feet.
Around 4.5 million people live within a 50-kilometer radius of the active volcano, 650,000 of whom are considered to be at risk. Local officials encouraged residents of the area to cover their noses and mouths with a moist towel. A seven-point-five mile security ring around the volcano keeps people from getting too close to the eruption.
Flights in and out of the nearest airport in Puebla are currently running on time. However, a warning has been issued to pilots warning them to take care in the area.
In its last eruption in 2014, plumes of smoke and ash combined with low cloud cover caused chaos at local airports as flights had to be cancelled or diverted.The last major eruption came in 2000 when 40,000 people had to be evacuated from nearby areas on the advice of government scientists. The name PopocatÚpetl originates from the native Mexican Nahuatl language and means 'smoking mountain.'