Tuesday’s eruption generated a three-kilometer column of gas and ash 2,500 meters above the crater, releasing fragments of burning rock up to two kilometers away. Continued eruptions could trigger the evacuation of some 200,000 people.
The alert level of the 17,900-foot stratovolcano was subsequently raised from yellow phase two to to yellow phase three, indicating possible magma expulsion and explosions of increasing intensity near Mexico City.
The alert is the third highest and just one level below a red alert which triggers preparations for evacuations.
According to reports, the eruption took place at 7:48 p.m. local time.
Thursday the National Center for Disaster Prevention promptly issued an advisory warning people to avoid the region surrounding the Popocatepetl due emissions which resulted in fires in the vicinity of the volcano.
About 25 million people live within 97 kilometers of the volcano's crater.