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Mexico City airport forced to suspend operations after eruption of El Popocatépetl

Mexico City, Mexico — The Mexico City International Airport was closed early Saturday due to the presence of volcanic ash. Late Friday and into Saturday, El Popocatépetl volcano began to erupt, spewing ash for kilometers.

The ash in the air was thick enough to force authorities to close all air traffic at the AICM for nearly five hours. It was around 4:30 a.m. that the airport announced it was temporarily suspending all air traffic due to a lack of visibility.

As of 4:25 a.m., the airport reported that for safety reasons, the operations were suspended. Authorities were hoping to have it reopened for 7:00 a.m., however, the ash fall continued, forcing the airport to delay flights for another two hours.

Head of Government of Mexico City, Claudia Sheinbaum, also reported “the fall of ash in various city areas, mainly in the north and east, are a result of the exhalation of the Popocatépetl volcano. Remember the recommendations,” she posted suggesting people use mouth masks outdoors and keep all doors and windows closed.

It was around 9:00 a.m. when the International Airport of Mexico City ‘Benito Juárez’ (AICM) said that airport and airline personnel were carrying out inspections and cleaning runways and taxiways.