Volcanic ash closes Mexico regional airport

Volcanic ash closes regional airport in central Mexican city of Puebla

Associated Press
Volcanic ash closes Mexico regional airport
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In this image released by the Mexican Navy (SEMAR), steam and ash rise from the crater of the Popocatepetl volcano, left, on the outskirts of Mexico City as seen from inside a navy aircraft as it approaches the volcano on Wednesday, July 10, 2013. Behind at right is the volcano Iztaccihuatl. Last Saturday, Mexico's National Center for Disaster Prevention raised the volcano alert from Stage 2 Yellow to Stage 3 Yellow, the final step before a Red alert, when possible evacuations could be ordered after the Popocatepetl volcano spit out a cloud of ash and vapor 2 miles (3 kilometers) high over several days of eruptions. (AP Photo/SEMAR)

MEXICO CITY (AP) -- An airport serving Mexico's fourth-largest city has suspended operations due to volcanic ash from the Popocatepetl volcano.

The international airport in Puebla was temporarily closed as a precautionary measure.

The airport is east of Mexico City and about 20 miles (30 kilometers) from the 17,886-foot (5,450-meter) volcano.

Airport spokesman Herbert Lopez Palma said Friday that the ash could pose a risk in takeoff and landing.

Flights to several Mexican cities as well as to Dallas and Houston, Texas, use the airport.

Authorities said this week that a lava dome is growing inside the crater and could cause further eruptions.

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