Mexico’s Popocatépetl volcano billows smoke and ash

Mexico’s Popocatépetl volcano erupted in a spray of vapor, smoke and ash on July 2.

The eruption started at 8:19 a.m. local time.

There was no lava, no major rocks were ejected, and only minimal danger due the ash.

Authorities told residents to protect themselves from the ash.

Popocatépetl is the most active of Mexico’s 14 active volcanoes. Since 1994 it has displayed at least a dozen volcanic events, mostly harmless spectacular emissions of steam and ash.

Mexico has more than 3,000 mountains, which are considered “volcanoes.” Most are dormant.

Popocatépetl is the second highest peak in Mexico. It’s peak stands 17,802 feet above sea level. Since it sits in a mountainous region, it seems only half as tall—it stands 9,908 feet above the surrounding landscape.