May 15 - The Popocatepetl volcano near Mexico City unleashes a powerful explosion overnight as residents brace for an eruption. Deborah Lutterbeck reports.
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After an eruption overnight, residents in a town some 50 miles -- or 80 kilometers -- outside Mexico City brace for a major eruption.
The alert level for the towering volcano dubbed "El Popo" was raised to yellow phase three from yellow phase two, on orders from the country's Interior Ministry.
It is the third-highest warning on the center's seven-step scale.
(SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) TOWN RESIDENT, JOSE LUIS VAZQUEZ, SAYING:
"Until now we have been continuing with our daily activities, we are wearing our normal clothes because we can't carry around a suitcase just our important documents, in case of a possible evacuation."
Authorities say the recent change in the volcano's activity could provoke major explosions.
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