Ash emissions from Popocatépetl affect nearby municipalities, cancel flights, Mexico

popocatepetl on february 27 2024 f

Strong ash emissions from Mexico’s Popocatépetl volcano on February 27, 2024, produced ashfall over nearby communities and disrupted air travel, with 22 flights canceled at Mexico City International Airport amid safety concerns over volcanic ash in the skies.

Mexico’s notorious Popocatépetl Volcano has been emitting strong ash plumes over the past week, causing minor to moderate ashfall across several municipalities and prompting flight cancellations.

In 24 hours to 00:30 UTC on February 28, CENAPRED reported 77 exhalations, 952 minutes of tremor, and 1 volcano-tectonic earthquake; similar to the previous 24 hours.

Dense ash emissions, reaching up to 6.7 km (22 000 feet) above sea level, drifted north-northwest.

Mexico City’s Benito Juárez International Airport (AICM), while confirming its operational status, has reported cancellations of 22 domestic and international flights due to the ash, which has also prompted safety checks following incidents of planes encountering ash en route to the capital.

The impact of the volcano’s activity was widely felt yesterday, with reports of slight ashfall in the municipalities of Hueyapan, Yecapixtla and Tetela del Volcán, Morelos; in Ixtacuixtla, Panotla, Tepetitla, Nativitas, Zacatelco, Santa Apolonia Teacalco, San Damián Texóloc, Tetlahuaca, Zacatelco, Xicohtzingo, Papalotla, Tenancingo, Santa Catarina Ayometla, Magdalena Tlaltelulco, San Francisco Tetlanohcan and Teolocholco, Tlaxcala; in Iztacalco, Iztapalapa and Coyoacán, Mexico City; and finally in Atlautla, Ayapango, Ecatzingo, Chalco, Tenango del Aire, Temamatla, Ozumba, Tepetlixpa, Tlalmanalco and Amecameca, State of Mexico.

Authorities maintain a Level 2 alert status for the volcano, advising against access to the crater area within a 12 km (7.4 miles) radius and warning of potential lahars (mud flows) in the event of heavy rainfall mobilizing fresh ash deposits.

Despite the significant seismic and volcanic activity, the civil protection agency has indicated no immediate risk to the population within a 96 km (60 miles) radius of Popocatépetl, which includes some 25 million people.

Popocatépetl, located 70 km (44 miles) SE of Mexico City and part of the Las Volcanes UNESCO Biosphere Reserve, has a long history of eruptions, with recent activity in 2019 and May of last year causing significant disruptions, including flight cancellations and class suspensions.

The volcano, known as the Aztec word for “smoking mountain,” is North America’s second-highest volcano and features a steep-walled crater. Its frequent eruptions since Pre-Columbian times have shaped the region’s history and landscape, reminding residents and authorities of its powerful and unpredictable nature.


1 Monitoreo al volcán Popocatépetl, hoy 27 de febrero – CENAPRED – February 27, 2024

2 Popocatepetl – Geological summary – GVP


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