The image was captured on January 2 and shows the colossus, known in Mexico as “Don Goyo”, emitting a gigantic fumarole that rose 6,400 meters from the crater (about 21,000 feet).
Popocatepetl is the second highest volcano in Mexico with a height of 5,426 meters (17,802 feet) above sea level. It has been active since January 2005, and due to its proximity to Mexico City, where some 9 million inhabitants live, it is considered one of the most dangerous volcanoes in the world.
The volcano is also a latent danger for the city of Puebla, which is located about 45 kilometers (30 miles) from the volcano. The city has a population of 1.5 million inhabitants.
In Mexico, authorities constantly monitor the activity of the Popocatépetl volcano. As part of its regular surveillance, the National Center for Disaster Prevention (Cenapdred) issues recurring reports on the volcano's emissions, which in recent years have consisted of water vapor, ash and lava.
They show a 10 percent chance of a large eruption with the emission of lava. However, experts in Mexico consider that due to constant monitoring of the volcano it would be possible to carry out a timely evacuation.
The Institute of Geophysics of the National Autonomous University of Mexico estimates that in the event of an eruption, four cities within a 30-kilometer range around the volcano (Mexico City, Cuernavaca, Puebla, and Tlaxcala) would experience heavy ash rains.