Volcanic ash from Popocatepetl temporarily shuts down Mexico City airports
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico City's two main airports temporarily shut down operations on Saturday due to ash spewing from Popocatepetl volcano, located 45 miles (72 kilometers) southeast of the country's capital.
The city's Benito Juarez International airport suspended operations at 4:25 a.m. local time. It resumed operations at 10 a.m., after removing volcanic ashes, checking the runways and verifying favorable wind conditions, the airport said on Twitter.
The new Felipe Angeles airport, located north of Mexico City and operated by the military, shut down operations around 6 a.m., and service was suspended for five hours.
Volcanic ashes are especially dangerous for aviation, not only because they reduce visibility but because they can act as an abrasive, damaging an aircraft's wings and fuselage.
The Popocatepetl rumbled to life again this week, belching out towering clouds of ash that forced 11 villages to cancel school sessions.
The explosions registered in the early hours of Saturday were more intense, but authorities — who keep a close eye on the active volcano — are maintaining the threat at an intermediate level.