Volcano spews ash over Mexico City and disrupts travel at two major airports

The eruptive volcano named Popocatépetl continued to impact air travel in Mexico City on Monday after it caused weekend flight cancellations and delays.

On Monday, AeroMexico, the country’s national airline, blamed the 17,887-foot volcano’s spring outbursts for affecting more than 100 of its flights across that nation.

Sergio Salomón, governor of the Mexican state of Puebla, tweeted Monday that he held a meeting of his advisors to plan a response to the eruptions should they continue during the week.

Activity coming from the volcano, named “smoking mountain” in Nahuatl, the language of the Aztec people, was noted by NASA scientists April 14.

A satellite operated by NASA and the U.S. Geological Survey captured images of some of the volcano’s spring outburst, and Mexican scientists have detected water vapor, volcanic gases and ash coming from the volcano, NASA said in two updates earlier this month.

Researchers have measured plumes as high as 4.5 miles, NASA said. On Monday, the USGS published a computer model forecast that stated the area just south of Mexico City could see 10 to 32 mm of ash fall by day’s end.

Popocatépetl’s ash was enough to prompt suspension of flights for about 5 hours at both of Mexico City’s main airports on Saturday. Benito Juarez International Airport said ash can block pilots’ view, hinder radio communications, and affect passenger planes’ jet engines.

Popocatépetl, which has a sibling, Iztaccíhuatl, about 8 miles north, has been noted by humans for its huffing and puffing since the 14th century, according to the Smithsonian Institution.

Its latest string of eruptions dates to 2005, according to NASA.

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