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Earth Science

Volcano Near Mexico City Becomes More Active 114

Posted by Soulskill
from the danger-will-robinson dept.
benfrog writes "Popocatépetl, a volcano that sits 34 miles east of Mexico City, has begun a series of small eruptions. It's feared that larger eruptions would not only endanger people within range of its explosions, but disrupt life in Mexico City with ash clouds. 'People in the village of Xalitzintla said they were awakened by a window-rattling series of eruptions. Mexico’s National Disaster Prevention Center said one string of eruptions ended in the early morning, then the volcano started up again at 5:05 a.m., with at least 12 eruptions in two hours.' More than 30 million people live within sight of the volcano."
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Volcano Near Mexico City Becomes More Active

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  • Well (Score:4, Funny)

    by masternerdguy (2468142) on Monday April 23, 2012 @04:23PM (#39776095)
    Must be all the tacos.
    • Re: (Score:1, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      You're right! With all the talk about carbon dioxide we've been ignoring the consequences of methane pollution.

      • disrupt life in Mexico City with ash clouds

        The air quality of Mexico City is very dirty, so dirty that birds actually die while they were flying and fall down from the sky

        And I read somewhere that an American diplomat once commented that the dust you see in Mexico City is mostly made up of dried manure

        In light of this, a little bit volcano ash won't do much harm to Mexico City

    • Scores 5? Funny? What century is this?
    • Montezuma's Revenge.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    ...we need to move away from volcano-generated electricity, and decommission all volcanos near population centers immediately.

    • by Quiet_Desperation (858215) on Monday April 23, 2012 @04:27PM (#39776155)

      But I can keep my volcano based supervillain lair, right?

    • by mooingyak (720677) on Monday April 23, 2012 @04:29PM (#39776175)

      ...we need to move away from volcano-generated electricity, and decommission all volcanos near population centers immediately.

      No no no. The problem is that we're using antiquated volcano design with inferior failsafes.

      • by shiftless (410350)

        Agreed. With a large enough containment field we could discharge the magma flow safely and carefully. Unfortunately, the technology to do this won't be invented for another 47 years.

    • Why? I have wondered if we do this right, if geo-thermal could pull the heat away to quiet down volcanos.
      • Not a heat issue, it's a pressure issue. The fluid rock in the mantle squezes up into magma cavities underneath under the volcanos.

        Now, it's possible to have a solid rock cap on top of such a cavity, but that results in massive explosions of smoke and ash (see pictures of cone-type volcanos) rather than long flows of very fluid magma (see pictures of shield-type volcanos).

        Granted, it's been a couple decades since I covered any of this in a geography class, so I could be wrong.

  • Earthquake link? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Sooner Boomer (96864) <sooner@boomr.gmail@com> on Monday April 23, 2012 @04:29PM (#39776173) Journal
    There have been numerous large earthquakes along the Pacific coast just West of Mexico City in the past few weeks. I wonder if/how the two might be related?

    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/recenteqsww/Maps/region/N_America.php [usgs.gov]

    Shows 4.3 and 5.1 in Central America in the past day...

  • December 21

    relax, 8 more months to go

  • by Anonymous Coward
    I think the Zetas finally have a way to extort the district for protection money
  • Here's a hint (Score:4, Informative)

    by koan (80826) on Monday April 23, 2012 @04:37PM (#39776259)

    Go Google the location of the plates and fault lines, then look at earthquakes for the last 10 years and you will see a pattern.

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/_ypalM7eSBEQ/SdzT_ajylVI/AAAAAAAAAbM/XNB1-z6lvKg/s1600-h/tectonic_map.jpg [blogspot.com]

    http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/eqarchives/year/byyear.php [usgs.gov]

    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by DerekLyons (302214)

      Go Google the location of the plates and fault lines, then look at earthquakes for the last 10 years and you will see a pattern.

      Not really, I see a bunch of earthquakes in random locations along fault lines. Show me a map for the 10 years before that, and then ten years before that, etc... and then we'll talk. Until then, all you have is pseudo-scientific bullshit.

      • What pseudo-science? I I thought the parent was referring to the location patterns because of the known fault lines. That part is science. Now if we're talking about trying to assign order among chaotic events, then yes, that would be pseudo-scientific BS.

        • Now if we're talking about trying to assign order among chaotic events, then yes, that would be pseudo-scientific BS.

          By taking a random 10 year period and trying to "find a pattern", that's what he was doing.

  • by PPH (736903) on Monday April 23, 2012 @04:44PM (#39776333)

    Fast.

    Slashdotters, be afraid.

    • by DarkTempes (822722) on Monday April 23, 2012 @05:12PM (#39776609)
      Nah, we're quite safe. We all know that only female virgins are sacrificed.
      • by PPH (736903)

        What's the matter? You don't believe in LGBT volcano gods?

        Or GOP senators?

        • Wouldn't it be female volcano gods that you would sacrifice the male virgins to?

          Or I guess gay volcano gods. But still, a volcano god that wants males is statistically more likely to be female than gay.
          Says so right in my volcano god almanac.

          • by PPH (736903)

            Wouldn't it be female volcano gods that you would sacrifice the male virgins to?

            I'm trying not to get the Slashdot communities hopes up.

      • Nah, we're quite safe. We all know that only female virgins are sacrificed.

        As it turns out, not even a female virgin sacrifice is quite as effective as the right kind of adult:

        A man who would come here of his own free will.
        A man who has come here with the power of a king by representing the law.
        A man who would come here as a virgin.
        A man who has come here as a fool.

        Well fellow Slashdotters, two or three out of four ain't bad!

    • by couchslug (175151)

      In other news, archaeologists have discovered an ancient Mayan textile depicting ritual sacrifice of "neckbeards" to placate the volcano god, Slashdopetl.

    • by necro81 (917438)
      No, we just need to dupe some hypochondriac into thinking he has a terminal illness. Jumping into a volcano [imdb.com] is a fine way to go out in style. Just keep Meg Ryan out of the picture, ok?
  • I got an idea, how about evacuating? I'm sorry, that was a smart idea. Stay there, I'm sure you'll be fine.
    • by Anonymous Coward

      ...evacuate 30 million people. Plus all of Mexico City. Many of whom have limited resources.

      Oh... maybe you're not as smart as you think you are.

      • Re: (Score:1, Insightful)

        by Jetra (2622687)
        It's called getting up and walking in the direction away from the volcano. Don't need a car, all you need is a great pair of legs. It's not brains, it common sense. I don't know why everyone needs a car to evacuate. "Oh look, a volcano is erupting. We have motorized transportation. Oh well, may as well sit here and accept fate."
        • by Anonymous Coward

          Let's assume your health is average. You can walk 2 miles per hour with just the clothes on your back. You might be able to do 20 miles of this on the first day. The 2nd day is blister day.

          Now let's throw in the posessions you might need or don't want to leave, like your silver coin collection that would get looted if you left it behind. Let's add grandma and grandpa. Don't forget the kids.

          Kiss your 2 miles per hour good-bye, even if you have a cart. Urban Mexicans probably don't have donkeys or carts

          • by gwolf (26339)

            I have less imagination for distressed, poor people than you do. The setting you pictured us would belong in my imagination to a post-earthquake Haiti — and quite probably I'm being too discriminatory anway. Yes, I live in Mexico City. A city known for people having to cross 40Km in 2hr to get to work (because there's so much people and so many cars that traffic is just so slow downtown).

            We so far have had nothing we have not seen over and over for the last hundreds of years. It's not gratuitous that

        • It's called getting up and walking in the direction away from the volcano. Don't need a car, all you need is a great pair of legs. It's not brains, it common sense.

          Well, you have one of the largest cities in the world, and its completely surrounded by mountains. Given the past history from the volcano, trying a mass evacuation on foot would probably kill more people than the likely number that would be killed by not evacuating (noting that you need to weight the number that would be killed in a more-signif

    • by tomhath (637240)
      If that thing blows I'm sure most of the 30 million will evacuate something. And they'll need a change of underwear afterward.
    • by gmuslera (3436) *
      Probably would be a minor eruption, and Mexico City would be safe. But, to put it in another perspective, next time that are inusual activity in the Yellowstone caldera like the one 2 years ago, would you order to evacuate half of US?
  • I was going to type something about Malcolm Lowry but my fingers developed paralysis.
  • how to get all of the drug lords to put their base of operations on it? It could solve a lot of issues.
  • Sorry, but someone had to say it...
  • Stupid (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday April 23, 2012 @05:19PM (#39776675)

    What kind of idiot builds a city next to a volcano?

    N from Edinburgh

    • by treeves (963993)

      Dunno. Ask people in Tacoma, Olympia or Vancouver, WA or Portland, OR.

      • by gmhowell (26755)

        Dunno. Ask people in Tacoma, Olympia or Vancouver, WA or Portland, OR.

        Ahh, hipsters. Got it.

    • Re:Stupid (Score:4, Informative)

      by SgtAaron (181674) <aaron@coinet.com> on Monday April 23, 2012 @05:55PM (#39776971)

      What kind of idiot builds a city next to a volcano?

      For any of us that happen to live in the northwest US or the billion or so others who are near the Pacific ring of fire, we don't really have much choice. Here in Bend, we're only 30 miles from a bunch of old volcanoes--one of them, South Sister, is developing a bulge that grows about 1 inch a year--but if we moved the city farther away, we'd be out in the desert without our wonderful view of the Cascade Mountains and quick access to the ski resort and the dozens of lakes up there. Who would want that? I think it's a lot easier for someone from Scotland (I assume *that* Edinburgh) to avoid volcanoes in his native land, eh?

      In any case, lack of proximity does not equal safety. When Mt St Helens erupted in 1980, I was in Spokane, at least a couple of hundred miles away from it, and we got blanketed in ash that made life more difficult for weeks. We didn't suffer from pyroclastic flows or anything, of course, but it's not recommended to breath volcanic ash for any length of time (had to wear masks forever).

    • could be something to do with the unbelievably fertile soil that usually parks itself around the base of the cone?

    • by nedlohs (1335013)

      Why kind of idiot builds on flood plains?

      What kind of idiot builds on the coast?

    • Not only near a volcano, but in the middle of a Lake., and in an earthquake prone place... and without a proper supply of drinking water. arghhh!

      According the tradition, after the Meshica (aztec) leave Aztlan, they wandered for two hundred years, seeking a signal sent by their god Huitzilopochtli: An eagle on the top of a Cactus. And finally they found it..

      In the middle of a lake, in a small Island.!!

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:CodexMendoza01.jpg [wikipedia.org]

      So, they built a great artificial Island aroun

  • by TheGratefulNet (143330) on Monday April 23, 2012 @05:30PM (#39776781)

    ...never seems to leave mexicans alone.

  • ...for most citizens in Mexico City proper. Coincidentally I sit at this moment about 60 miles away from Popo, and selfishly I'm hoping it holds off blowing it's top for a few more hours at least until I can return home to the US. When I was assigned this trip a month ago I was worried about earthquakes and lack of oxygen. Now this...

    Uncharacteristically the weather is great and visibility today is spectacular. Could that be an omen?

  • The Mayas are training for Dec. 2012.
  • the musical fruit, The more you eat, the more you toot! The more you toot, the better you feel, so eat your beans with every meal!! -a song my mom used to sing to me as a child. I'll never forget it.
  • now I have successfully tested my Volcanoanator!
  • Does anyone know, is there a caldera there? When I google it, I see that there was one formed 12k years ago, but if there was one today, then you'd want to watch for a supersonic outgassing, because if that happens, the city needs to evacuate ASAP.

    With the outgassing, my understanding is that the pressure reduces to one that is insufficient to hold up the ceiling of the caldera, so you then get a collapse, and a mega-explosion, a la Santarini, Krakatoa, and other such megavolcanos.

  • Any live web cam broadcast of this event?

God doesn't play dice. -- Albert Einstein

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