Guest Videos: Popocatépetl Update

No big changes from its most recent baseline — I just wanted to give an update here as I’m still working on the cat family book and can’t do a new volcano series right now. And the Colossus of Puebla is always interesting.

It still has a heartbeat.

Time-lapse cameras continue to show occasional incandescence at night, as well as frequent venting of steam, gases, and small amounts of ash (enough to haze up the neighborhood, but nothing drastic).

This is all the current baseline, and so the live blogging hasn’t been updated for a couple of weeks.

But those who live with Don Goyo are not relaxing. Government officials continue to hold conferences and local populations are practicing evacuations.

This past Friday, April 26th, they did another overflight of its summit:

Volcanoes are such changeable places.

Contrast that overflight view from 2019 with a video taken up close and personal in 1993, about a year before the slumbering giant awoke in December 1994. (Pictures, as they say, are worth thousands of words. This, and the video that follow are in Spanish; I’m not familiar enough with that beautiful language to be able to translate.)

What I found most amazing about this was the crowd, the crater lake, and that impressive albeit shaky zoom up the rising steam plume into the sun. Imagine trying to do that today!!

Old habits last, even when a once familiar place becomes hazardous. People kept going up there after Don Goyo awoke, and some of them died in 1996 in an explosion.

More traumatizing for the millions who live around this volcano was its reawakening in 1994, as this video about Popo and its tiempero shows:

Those who live near this charismatic but dangerous fire mountain adjust themselves to it.

Today, most people follow the advice of scientists and emergency management personnel, but from what I’ve read, the tiempero is still on speaking terms with Don Goyo.

And the emergency just goes on and on. Unlike any other volcano I have heard of, Popo continues to be dramatic but not very destructive.


It’s a very, very difficult situation, 24/7/365. There are no eye-catching news images — yet.

But Popocatépetl’s neighbors keep a watchful eye on its changing moods.

Featured image: Rainy City, CC BY-ND 2.0.

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