A volcano spewing smoke and ash into the atmosphere is usually a rare sight for tourists, and unwelcome for people living nearby.

Unless you're talking about the Colima volcano in Mexico, whose eruptions are almost routine these days.

Sure enough, it marked Christmas and New Year’s Eve 2015 with a bang, literally, sending rocks and associated objects nearly 7,000 feet up in the air three times over two days. Two weeks later, anyone going close to the volcano is still being told to watch out for falling chunks of rock up to 50 cm in diameter, and ash.

It would sound exciting, had it not been for the fact that an erupting volcano can disrupt life considerably, putting people at risk. Residents have been warned to cover their nose and mouth with a damp cloth or face mask, and contact lenses should be avoided.

Still, that doesn't mean there's any great danger of a cataclysmic eruption, according to the authorities. Also known as the Fire Volcano, Colima is located near the coast, west of Mexico City. One of Mexico's most active craters, it has been unusually active since July 2015.

Mexico has more than 3,000 volcanoes, although only 14 are considered active. Rising 12,655 feet above sea level, Colima straddles the border between the western states of Jalisco and Colima. It last erupted in 1986, which is why the current explosions have changed the situation greatly.