Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano roared back to life early on Wednesday morning, spewing incandescent material and a large plume of ash and smoke into the sky.
The active volcano erupted about 4:45am local time and again at 8:00am local time in the fourth big eruption in recent days.
Mexico’s national disaster-prevention agency says the eruption of the volcano, dubbed ‘Don Goyo’ by locals, was unrelated to the earthquake that shook the country earlier this month, according to Associated Press.
The eruptions came just a week after Mexico was hit by two major earthquakes, the second of which was a 7.1-magnitude quake on September 19 that killed more than 330 people and damaged 11,000 homes.
Popocatepetl has been active since the mid-1990s and some significant eruptions last year rocked communities living under the volcano’s shadow.
There are more than 3,000 volcanoes in Mexico, but only 14 are considered active.
The powerful quake, which hit on the 32nd anniversary of a huge 1985 quake that killed 10,000 people, followed another 8.2-magnitude one that shook the nation on September 7 – killing about 100 people mostly in the southern state of Oaxaca.
These two disasters and Tropical Storm Lidia in Mexico killed more than 400 people and toppled 150,000 houses and other buildings and structures, authorities said Wednesday.
The damage included almost 12,000 ruined schools to the tune of 717 million dollars.
And that was in addition to 1,500 national monument structures worth about $440 million dollars. All three disasters hit in September.
“The raw, preliminary numbers cross over from homes, to monuments, to thousands of schools that have to be completely rebuilt,” President Enrique Pena Nieto told reporters after a meeting of his cabinet and local officials.
In early September, Tropical Storm Lidia killed at least seven people in Baja California Sur, in northwestern Mexico.