Erupting Mexican volcano sends smoke and ash 5km into the sky (VIDEOS, PHOTOS)

Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano erupted more than 300 times in 24 hours, spewing a column of ash, smoke and gas high into the sky.

Volcanic activity began midday Friday and hundreds of eruptions continued over the subsequent 24 hours.

On Saturday authorities warned people to stay away from the volcano, particularly its crater, due to the danger caused by falling “ballistic fragments.” They said that ash will fall on towns in the surrounding area.

Luis Felipe Puente, Mexico's director of civil protection, shared pictures of the volcano erupting on Twitter.

Popocatepetl, which is located 70km southeast of Mexico city, lay dormant for decades before erupting in 1994. Since then it has been quite active, erupting as recently as April and emitting a series of rumblings in recent months.

In October, continued eruptions from Mexico's Colima volcano, which is one of the most active volcanos in North America, led to the evacuation of more than 300 people.

READ MORE: Violent eruption of Mexico’s ‘Volcano of Fire’ forces evacuations (PHOTOS, VIDEO)

Members of the National Civil Protection, Mexico’s Army and the State Civil Protection Unit were deployed to transport residents to emergency hostels away from the danger.