The nighttime eruption of a fiery volcano in Colima, Mexico, was caught on video via a webcam located beyond the five-mile exclusion zone surrounding the area. In it, the volcano can be seen throwing out streams of lava and fire, and shooting a thick plume of smoke and ash well over 6,500 feet in the air. Officials say the eruption could be heard as far as 50 miles away.
The eruption of the 12,000-foot volcano, which occurred on Wednesday, was already the third recorded this year. The Volcanic Ash Advisory Center in Washington, D.C., part of the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, had been giving daily accounts of new ash in the atmosphere since January 3, UPI reports.
There last activity for 2016 was a major eruption on December 27. The mountain is one of Mexico’s 14 active volcanoes, and is located on the country’s west coast, between Colima and Jalisco. It is 300 miles west of Mexico City.
The center’s report on the eruption stated,
Explosion seen on web cam. Based on models, any VA [volcanic ash] would be rapidly mov NE at 40-60 Kts [rapidly moving northeast at 40-50 knots, or 42-69 mph].
The Volcan de Colima, locally known as Volcan de Fuego or “fire volcano,” is part of the Colima Volcanic Complex, which includes Volcán de Colima, Nevado de Colima and the extinct El Cantaro. This complex, in turn, sits on the Pacific Ring of Fire – the hot area 40,000 kilometers wide known to hold about 75% of the world’s active volcanoes.
Colima is the youngest of the three volcanoes in the area, and as of 2015, has been listed as one of the most active volcanoes in North America.
Volcanic activity has been recorded since the 16th century – it has erupted over 40 times since 1576 – but consistent eruptions have been happening since 1994. An increase in activity was noted in October, due to the growth of a new lava dome, according to Volcano Discovery.