Popocatepetl volcano
Media playback is unsupported on your device
Video

Mexico eruption: Volcano crater viewed from the air

Mexico's erupting Popocatepetl volcano, just east of Mexico City, has been spewing large clouds of ash and vapour into the sky.

Latest video taken by a Mexican navy aircraft show plumes of smoke billowing out of its massive crater.

The alert level for the Popocatepetl volcano, located some 80 km (50 miles) to the southeast of the capital, was raised to yellow phase three on Saturday.

It is the third-highest caution on the centre's seven-step scale, and warns a change in activity in the 5,450m (17,900ft) volcano could provoke big explosions capable of sending incandescent fragments out over considerable distances.

Fifty thousand people live in 24 towns surrounding Popocatepetl, whose name means "smoking mountain" in the Nahuatl Indian language.

Go to next video: Mexico on alert as volcano blows steam