Mexican villagers locked out of shelter, as Popocatépetl volcano erupts

May 18, 2013 MEXICOFOR the villagers closest to Popocatepetl, a Mexican volcano showing alarming signs of an imminent eruption, contingency plans are somewhat lacking. The village president has no telephone line, there is no doctor and the man with the key to the emergency refuge, a disgraced former mayor, has fled town. El Popo, as the 17,887 ft volcano is known, burst into life a fortnight ago, spewing clouds of ash and chunks of rock over nearby towns during eruptions that have grown in intensity. It is potentially one of the world’s most destructive volcanoes because of its proximity to Mexico City, just 40 miles away, and the Mexican authorities have been preparing evacuation routes and shelters. But the residents of Santiago Xalitzintla, a poor farming village seven miles from the crater, remain locked out of their shelter. “We will use a human key,” said Soledad de Garcia, the village president’s pregnant wife. “A child small enough to squeeze through the bars of the window but strong enough to jump down into the room and open the door from the inside.” Even if the brave youngster succeeds, the 2,000 residents face further problems. For one thing, the stone-walled shack has room for only 400 people. For another, its tin roof is unlikely to withstand cascading chunks of molten rock. Michael Sheridan, an American volcanologist who observed eruptions in 1994 and 2000, said: “When I started, the crater was very deep and the explosions weren’t powerful enough to send heavy material outside. The kind of explosions we’re seeing now are very capable of shooting that stuff out. It could cause rocks to rain down for miles around or, in a worst-case scenario, huge destructive mudflows.” Popocatepetl’s last massive eruption was 1,100 years ago when it wiped out the city of Puebla, 24 miles away. “It’s a long time since it’s been this intense; a serious eruption is a possibility,” said Sheridan. “There would be definite warning signs like earthquakes if it was going to get extremely bad, but the damage could block highways, close bridges, shut down hospitals, making escape very difficult.” In Santiago Xalitzintla there are few signs of fear. Idulia Castro, a 60-year-old shopkeeper, said: “We’ve got used to the roar of the volcano. There’s nothing you can do.” If ordered to leave, they will stay put rather than be forced out by soldiers, the villagers said. Jose Agustin, 72, a council worker, said: “They want to get their hands on our land and our animals. We’re more afraid of the army than El Popo.” Last week Martin Hernandez, 53, a farmer, climbed to within two miles of the crater to check his crops. The previous day an explosion had covered 26 surrounding towns with ash. On his way back, Popocatepetl began hurling lava at him. “After a couple of hours, it went out,” he said matter-of-factly. –The Sunday Times
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This entry was posted in Civilizations unraveling, Earth Changes, Earth Watch, Earthquake Omens?, Environmental Threat, High-risk potential hazard zone, Potential Earthchange hotspot, Seismic tremors, Signs of Magnetic Field weakening, Time - Event Acceleration, Volcanic Ash, Volcanic Eruption, Volcanic gas emissions, Volcano Watch. Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to Mexican villagers locked out of shelter, as Popocatépetl volcano erupts

  1. Carla says:

    That is sad that they are more afraid of their army than they are the volcano. I am praying for their safety.

  2. professorcurtis says:

    When disaster comes, the “elite” will take shelter as the strength of the people will suffer, burn and die! Which life path is best? When only the “elite” remain who would know what to do?

  3. Digni TyTy says:

    If bad things happen and you keep your dignity (not listen to the scumvernment) then the worst thing that can happen you will lose your life, in a dignified manner. Dignity is more important than life.

  4. John says:

    Every catastrophe has a group of people who just refuse to leave. In the Mount St Helens event, there were a number of old timers that just refused to leave. There were thousands of Jews who refused to flee the Nazi uprising back in the 1930’s. Even today there are millions who refuse to stock up on food and water while they are living in hurricane prone areas. The list could go on. Basically, there are some humans who just do not have the instinct to survive.

  5. Irene C says:

    Well, I guess one needs to have a matter-of-fact attitude when one lived right below an active volcano and there is no emergency plan.

  6. May God protect them. May they have the wisdom to escape disaster. TJF

  7. Steve says:

    “They want to get their hands on our land and our animals. We”re more afraid of the army than El Popo.”

    Why do you think they locked all you out of your volcano shelter…

  8. Dennis E. says:

    I wonder if the same person who supervised FEMA during Hurricane Katrina is also their national disaster supervisor?

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