Mexico's huge Popocatepetl volcano, affectionately known as Popo, blew its top on June 18.
Popo, 43 miles southeast of Mexico City, started rumbling and grumbling in mid-May, began seeping gas and ash in early June and finally exploded in plumes of grey smoke, belching steam, gas and incandescent rocks more than two miles high that shook the clouds and raced down its slopes.
The explosion was dramatic but short-lived and Popo settled down soon afterwards, according to Mexico's National Disaster Prevention Center.
However, volcanic ash that was blown into the air could shift due to wind currents and fall on nearby Puebla or even Mexico City. The explosion has not affected flights so far.
In December 2000, the volcano registered one of its largest eruptions in recent history, prompting the mass evacuation of the surrounding countryside.
The name Popocatepetl originates from the native Mexican Nahuatl language and means "smoking mountain."
— Gay Nagle Myers