One of Mexico’s most active volcanoes, Popocatepetl, erupted on Thursday morning, spewing ash high into the air above and showering lava around its crater. Officials have issued a yellow alert in response to the volcanic activity.

Dramatic footage of the moments of eruption were caught on camera at around 6.30am local time. Officials say the volcanic blast sent up a column of smoke about 3 kilometers high, with a moderate ash content.

Mexican authorities issued a ‘level 2’ yellow alert in the immediate aftermath of Thursday’s eruption, warning people in the surrounding area to cover their mouth and nose with a mask or handkerchief for protection against volcanic ash in the air, to keep windows closed, and to wear glasses instead of contact lenses. The public is being advised “not to approach the volcano.”

Residents in nearby Atlautla and Mexico City posted impressive images online of the smoke rising above Popocatépetl at dawn.

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