Mexico City, Puebla Airports Halt Operations Due to Popo Volcanic Ash

Mexico’s Popocatepetl Volcano has been spewing ash since late April. Photo: Google


Due to an increase of volcanic ash from the nearby Popocatépetl Volcano in the state of Puebla, the Mexico City International Airport (AICM) temporarily halted aircraft landings and takeoffs on Saturday, May 20.

During the six-hour suspension of flights, at least 274 commercial departures and arrivals were delayed or canceled.

“Due to the presence of volcanic ash, the airport has closed operations as of 4:25 a.m.,” the air terminal tweeted Saturday.

“For the safety of operations, the closure of the airport will be extended for approximately five more hours in order to clean runways and taxiways.”

Normal airport operations resumed shortly after 10:00 a.m. Saturday.

Meanwhile, in the neighboring state of Puebla, the government announced on Sunday, May 21, that the Hermanos Serdán International Airport would be closed indefinitely due to the ash.

Mexico’s Popocatepetl volcano began rumbling back to life in late April, belching out towering clouds of ash that forced 11 local villages to cancel school sessions last week.

The 5,426-meter-high volcano, known affectionately as “El Popo,” is the second-highest peak in Mexico and has been spewing toxic fumes, ash and lumps of incandescent rock persistently for almost 30 years, since it first reawakened from a long slumber in 1994.

The volcano lies 72 kilometers southeast of Mexico City, where residents have been suffering from clouds of choking ash as government scientists continue to monitor its seismic activities.

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