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Volcanic ash shuts small Mexico airport 7 hours

Friday - 7/12/2013, 7:15pm  ET

In this image released by the Mexican Navy (SEMAR), steam and ash rise from the crater of the Popocatepetl volcano on the outskirts of Mexico City as seen during an over flight on Wednesday, July 10, 2013. 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 suspended operations for seven hours because of volcanic ash from the Popocatepetl volcano.

The international airport in Puebla was temporarily closed as a precautionary measure, said Puebla airport spokesman Herbert Lopez Palma.

Palma said the airport re-opened after the ash stopped falling and the airstrips were cleaned up.

The temporary closure affected six domestic and international flights to Houston and Dallas, Texas.

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

At the Mexico City airport, Alaska Airlines on Friday canceled its daily flight to and from Los Angeles.

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


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