Mexico's Popocatépetl always gets people's attention - this is thanks to its proximity to Mexico City. Whenever you juxtapose an active volcano with one of the world's most populous cities, you know that the news will latch onto any activity quickly. This is why we saw a blast of article late yesterday about 4 explosions that occurred at Popocatépetl. These explosions (accompanying by volcanic tremor) produced small plumes that reached ~1 km / 3,200 feet and dusted parts of the outlying areas of Mexico City with ash. CENAPRED has now warned people from getting closer than 12 km from the crater of the volcano. They think these new explosions are all phreatic - that is, groundwater seeped into the volcano and produced steam explosions - so it is not out of character for Popo - and they warned that there is likely to be more small explosions over the next few days as well.
Top left: The small ash plume emitted by Popocatépetl on August 30, 2011.