Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Volcanic ash from Popocatépetl causes some flight cancellations in Puebla, CDMX

Continued activity by the Popocatépetl volcano prompted the suspension of operations at the Puebla airport on Wednesday morning.

The 7 a.m. closure of Hermanos Serdán International Airport was “due to the presence of volcanic ash over the airport,” Viva Aerobus noted on its website.

The volcanic activity on Monday and Tuesday caused ashfall across the surrounding area 


The action was first announced by Mexico’s civil protection authorities, who noted on their X social media account that “the fall of ash affects the visibility of the aircraft.”

Later on Wednesday morning, the National Civil Protection Coordination (CNPC) stated Popocatépetl had experienced 13 exhalations and 1,398 minutes of tremor over the previous 24 hours.

In the 24 hours before that, it had 77 exhalations, 952 minutes of tremor and one volcano-tectonic earthquake, according to data from the National Center for Disaster Prevention (Cenapred).

CNPC noted that officials were maintaining a Phase 2 Yellow Alert, asking people to “respect the exclusion radius of 12 km.” 

Popocatépetl, one of Mexico’s most active volcanoes, released a large plume last week and has remained at least semi-active over the last eight days. On Tuesday, a column of smoke was seen blowing to the north-northwest, toward Mexico City.

On Wednesday, the volcano also known as “el Popo” or “Don Goyo,” released more fumaroles, and ash fell in several Mexico City boroughs.

The 5,393-meter peak (Mexico’s second highest behind Citlaltépetl, aka Pico de Orizaba) is located on the borders of the states of México, Morelos and Puebla, about 70 km southeast of Mexico City. In the Nahuatl language, its name means “Smoking Mountain.”

As of Wednesday morning, the Mexico City International Airport (AICM) remained open, although passengers were being urged to check for information from their airlines.

People look at a board in the Mexico City International Airport
Some flights were canceled at the Mexico City International Airport on Tuesday and Wednesday as a result of the volcanic ash. (Cuartoscuro)

On Tuesday, AICM said that airlines had canceled or postponed 22 domestic and international flights to carry out safety checks after planes encountered ash while flying toward the capital.

CNPC assured that there was no immediate risk to the population, but recommended closing windows and doors, staying indoors and covering noses and mouths while outdoors.

Aeroméxico reported the cancellation of 14 flights on Tuesday and Wednesday, and also noted that it would not be charging additional fees to travelers when re-booking, not even for route changes.

Viva Aerobus advised travelers to check for flight updates online.

The Phase 2 Yellow Alert means that the fall of ash, incandescent fragments, mudflows and debris will continue in nearby areas, and that columns of smoke up to 2 km high are anticipated.

With reports from Infobae, El Financiero, La Jornada, Reuters and El Universal

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