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Alert Level Raised In Mexico As Volcano About To Erupt

Mexican authorities on Tuesday raised alert levels after a huge volcano located near Mexico City showed signs of eruption by spewing ash and steam up into the air.

The National Disaster Prevention Center (CENAPRED) said it had raised the alert to "Yellow stage three" - the third-highest level on the Center's seven-step scale, adding that the alert would remain in place until the volcano's activity diminished.

Soon after the Popocatepetl volcano began shooting ash as well as steam and fragments of rocks high into the air on Tuesday, authorities shut down schools located near the 17,900-foot volcano as a precaution and began preparing evacuation centers for use if the volcano erupts.

The Popocatepetl volcano, which means "Smoking Mountain" in the indigenous Nahuatl language, is Mexico's second highest peak, and is located some 40 miles southeast of the country's capital. The volcano's last eruption was in 2000, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of people.

by RTT Staff Writer

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