Mexico remains on high alert as the Popocatepetl volcano continuous to spew gas and volcanic ash into the air.

Mexico's National Centre for Disaster Prevention raised the threat level in april to its third highest warning in a seven-step scale. This indicates the possibility of magma expulsion and eruptions of increasing intensity.

Popocatepetl is only 25km (40 miles) southeast of the capital, Mexico City. More than a fifth of Mexico's population of 114 million live within a 60km radius of the volcano .

Residents of the Puebla state town of San Nicolas de los Ranchos have been trying to adjust to life as the 5,450-metre volcano continuous to spew gases and fumes from its core.

The Popocatepetl volcano spews a cloud of ash and steam high into the air, as seen from the town of Santiago Xalizintla, on the outskirts of Puebla (Reuters)
Popocatepetl volcano spews clouds of ash and steam high into the air (Reuters)

Farmers remained on alert.

"Sometimes we see it in the night but now you need to be cautious of and watch out if something happens, when it releases its fumes and fire," Leon Analco told Reuters.

After the threat level was raised last month, several nearby schools closed as a precaution and evacuation shelters were prepared.

Student Karina Apanco said: "Grandparents do not want to leave [the town] because of their animals. They have had more time here and are more accustomed [to the volcano] but it scares me. If something happens we will need to go.

"My whole family is scared. They say it has calmed down but I don't know."

Civil protection authorities reported in April that exit routes for towns have been cleared and shelters established with bed and kitchen facilities.

The volcano has spat out mile-high clouds of ash and smoke several times this year. Its last major eruption took place on 18 December, 2000, forcing the evacuation of tens of thousands of people from nearby communities.

Popocatepetl Volcano: Mexico Awaits 'El Popo' Eruption [SLIDESHOW]