Popocatépetl, 2023: May 26 (1657 UTC)


Yellow, Phase 3.

Update, May 26, 2023, 9:57 a.m., Pacific: The big news, of course, is the drone videos that were made public.

Here are some, followed by an official statement tweeted about an hour ago.

Enter the maw of an erupting volcano and feast your eyes, folks!


Now, here is the official statement (Twitter can translate it, but the text in English is also given below); read the whole thread:


They are directly quoting from today’s CENAPRED bulletin (via Google Translate):

…From the analysis of the images taken in an overflight of the Popocatépetl volcano by the Secretary of the Navy carried out on the morning of May 26, the presence of a lava dome was not observed, but it was appreciated that the main crater has been significantly filled by emitted fragmented magmatic material. Likewise, the activity during the past three days has consisted of the emission of ash and incandescent fragments associated with the tremor record of fluctuating duration and amplitude.

It was concluded that the most probable scenario in the short term is that an activity similar to the one that has occurred recently continues, characterized by the occurrence of high-frequency tremors and variable amplitude; some small to moderate and occasionally large explosions, and ash emissions that possibly reach more distant populations than already observed, as well as the expulsion of incandescent fragments within the 12 kilometer exclusion radius.

The Scientific Advisory Committee of the National Civil Protection System for the Popocatépetl volcano will remain in permanent session…

Two things in particular attract this layperson’s eye:

  1. There is no dome visible at the time of the overflight, but Popo is clearly erupting some lava explosively in the form of ash, mixed in with much gas and water that has been vaporized by the heat of gas-producing magma underground but fairly close to the surface. [LAYPERSON SPECULATION]Probably Don Goyo does also have lava effusions that pile up into domes but these are soon blown apart in the occasional spectacular blasts, thanks to the high gas content in this new batch of magma.[/LAYPERSON SPECULATION]
  2. The scientific committee is in continuous session. I take that to mean that this event is far from over and could go up or down in intensity without much notice.

At the moment, tremor and emissions reportedly have dropped.

It would be nice if that continues, but we’ll just have to wait and see what happens next. Overnight, the volcano’s feistiness continued.

According to the current VAAC advisory, residual ash still extends up to 180 nautical miles from the summit and new ash is spreading out:

Speaking of ash, here’s what it looks like in the lab (not the sort of stuff you want to inhale or eat/drink!):


But for a couple of hours yesterday, it could have gotten you some roses (autotranslated) in Cholula. ❤

Earlier posts:

Featured image Popocatépetl in early 2019, by Puebla Civil Protection (Spanish)

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