Popocatepetl volcano
The Popocatepetl volcano throws 2,000-metre high ash cloud into Mexican skyReuters

Popocatepetl volcano is one of Mexico's 14 active volcanos, and the country's second highest peak. It also overlooks its bustling capital Mexico City, prompting local officials to set up a protective 7.5-mile cordon around it, if only to prevent the curious from getting too close and being hit by falling debris. At present the plume of smoke is billowing almost 2,000m - 6,500 feet - into the heavens.

Incredible footage captured by CCTV cameras trained on the volcano shows thick grey smoke pouring out of the top, while in other shots lava can also be seen flowing out of the peak. The city, which is home to nearly nine million people, is not believed to be in any great danger, but locals have been advised to wear a moist towel around their mouths if they venture outside to prevent them from inhaling ash, which can be carconogenic.

Popocatepetl is 5,426m high, and sits 43 miles to the south-east of Mexico City. It periodically erupts like this without causing any major disruption, most recently in January.

Pilots have been warned to stay on alert, but flights in and out of the city are currently progressing as normal. Flights were last cancelled during a larger eruption in 2014, but its last really significant activity came in 2000 when tens of thousands of people were evacuated from settlements nearby after warnings from government scientists. That year, the volcano produced what scientists believe to have been its largest display for 1,200 years.

The name Popocatepetl even means smoking mountain, and activity like this is concidered quite common. In total, since the Spanish arrived, there have been an estimated 15 major eruptions, making it the country's most active volcano. Up until 2001, it was one of three mountains in Mexico to host glaciers, but scientists have blamed a changing climate for their disappearance from its peak.