Popocatepetl, Mexico

Popocatepetl continues in a state of unrest, with two ash emissions during
the last month. La Cronica del Hoy reported that while the explosive
activity on 17 April 1997 was the most intense to date, the volcano quieted
down again and officials were reported as saying that no evacuations would
be necessary. The cycle of activity that appears to have characterized
Popo's behavior during recent months has repeated this week. Relatively low
gas emissions measured (monitored in terms of SO2 output using a COSPEC -
correlation spectrometer) on Friday, 9 May 1997, suggested that the
volcanic system had become sealed, allowing pressure to build up beneath
the volcano. Explosive ash emissions on Sunday evening presumably relieved
this pressure and have returned the volcano to a state of open degassing.
Ash associated with these emissions has fallen on neighboring communities,
but no casualties have been reported. If this style of activity continues,
additional explosions can be expected.

Information Sources: La Cronica del Hoy, Mexico City; Stanley Williams,
Arizona State University.

Compiled by David Lescinsky - this information is preliminary and is being distributed due to recent interest in the ongoing activity at Popocatepetl. It should not be considered to be authoritative and all details should be checked before citing.