Category: World / May 17, 2013 3:36 PM EDT
Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano unleashed another powerful explosion in the early hours of Friday (May 17).
The eruption, at 00:28 local time (06:28 GMT) sent incandescent fragments out over 1.5 kilometres (0.9 miles) from the crater and spewed an ash column reaching about four kilometres (2.4 miles) in height, which the winds blew over northeast from the volcano, Mexico's National Centre for Disaster Prevention said in a statement.
A water and gas plume of smoke 1 kilometre (0.6 miles) long could be seen coming from the top of the 5,450-meter (17,900-foot) volcano on Friday (May 17).
Over the last couple of days, the volcano has displayed an increased level of explosive activity.
The lava dome of Popocatepetl, some 50 miles to the southeast of the capital, may continue to expand and unleash increasingly powerful explosions of ash and lava, Mexico's National Centre for Disaster Prevention has said in statements.
In the town of Santiago Xalitzintla, in the state of Puebla, residents have been given face masks and informed of evacuation routes.
"The volcano continues with its activity, spewing incandescent gas. That's it and the fall of ash. You have to keep protecting your eyes and head from the ash," said town resident, Luis Martinez.
The alert level for the towering volcano remains at yellow phase three, on orders from the country's Interior Ministry.
It is the third-highest warning on the centre's seven-step scale.
The centre continues to monitor de volcano's activity.
(Video Source: REUTERS)