Mexico volcano ash disrupts US flights for second day

Jul 06, 2013 by Jennifer Gonzalez Covarrubias
People wait for their flights at Mexico City's airport on July 5, 2013. Frustrated passengers stood in long lines at Mexico City's airport as US airlines canceled flights for a second day after the Popocatepetl volcano spewed a new column of ash

Frustrated passengers stood in long lines at Mexico City's airport as US airlines canceled flights for a second day after the Popocatepetl volcano spewed a new column of ash.

United Airlines, Delta Airlines, Alaska Airlines and AirTran voluntarily scrapped 15 flights Friday as a precaution, but the airport did not restrict travel as it did not consider the a risk, airport spokesman Jorge Andres Gomez told AFP.

On Thursday, six US had canceled some 60 flights, stranding 600 passengers, with many of them still looking for a way out of the Mexican capital Friday afternoon.

"They can't even give us chairs," Mexican traveler Gabriela Garcia said as she stood in a long line at a Delta counter with some 200 other people. "Nobody knows anything, nobody says anything, we've been standing for six hours."

Another Mexican traveler, Eusebio Pacheco, said that he had also been waiting in line for six hours with his wife, hoping to finally take off to the Canadian province of Quebec.

"We don't know anything, they don't tell us anything, we're desperate," he said, adding that two flights were canceled. They hoped to fly out on Saturday.

A Slovenian couple who were heading to Paris with Delta said they were advised to book a hotel and return in two days, with the airline saying it wouldn't pay for food or lodging since it was a .

The airport spokesman said operations were getting back to normal later in the day and that from Europe and other regions had been landing all day.

The National Disaster Prevention Center had reported early Friday the 5,452-meter (17,887-feet) high volcano had blown a 1.5 kilometer (one mile) high column of ash that was heading west-northwest and produced low-intensity tremors in the last 24 hours.

In an evening bulletin, the agency said the volcano had spewed more gas, steam and ash which had dispersed as it blew west. Authorities flew over the crater and saw molten rocks that were blown one kilometer into the air before falling on the mountain's slopes, it added.

Volcanic activity at the snow-capped Popocatepetl, located 65 kilometers (40 miles) southeast of the capital, has intensified since May, prompting authorities to raise the alert level to "yellow phase 3" for 27 days, just short of evacuation orders.

The disaster prevention center advised people living around the to wear long sleeves and use masks or cover their mouths and noses with a cloth.

Explore further: NASA sees Typhoon Matmo making second landfall in China

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Mexico volcano spews ash on towns

May 15, 2013

Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano spewed a new column of ash late Tuesday, with some of the material falling on three towns while glowing rocks landed on the towering mountain's slope.

Mexico volcano covers towns in ash

May 08, 2013

Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano has spewed ash over several towns in the central state of Puebla, just 55 kilometers (35 miles) southeast of Mexico City, but the country's capital was spared.

American Airlines fixes computers, delays go on

Apr 16, 2013

American Airlines says it has fixed an outage in its main reservations system that is disrupting travel for thousands of passengers whose flights have been delayed or canceled.

Mexican volcano rumbles, but residents shrug it off

May 14, 2013

Mexico's Popocatepetl volcano has blown steam for days, prompting authorities to prepare for possible evacuations, but residents are used to their towering neighbor's rumblings and keep going to work without ...

Chile volcano grounds more flights

Jun 14, 2011

(AP) -- The drifting plume of ash from Chile's erupting volcano forced new cancelations of dozens of flights on Monday in Argentina, Uruguay and other South American countries, even as airlines in Australia ...

Recommended for you

Fires in Central Africa During July 2014

2 hours ago

Hundreds of fires covered central Africa in mid-July 2014, as the annual fire season continues across the region. Multiple red hotspots, which indicate areas of increased temperatures, are heavily sprinkled ...

NASA's HS3 mission spotlight: The HIRAD instrument

12 hours ago

The Hurricane Imaging Radiometer, known as HIRAD, will fly aboard one of two unmanned Global Hawk aircraft during NASA's Hurricane Severe Storm Sentinel or HS3 mission from Wallops beginning August 26 through ...

Fires in the Northern Territories July 2014

Jul 23, 2014

Environment Canada has issued a high health risk warning for Yellowknife and surrounding area because of heavy smoke in the region due to forest fires. In the image taken by the Aqua satellite, the smoke ...

User comments : 0