Guatemala airport closes amid volcanic eruption after planes and runways covered in ash

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Guatemala airport closes amid volcanic eruption after planes and runways covered in ash


Guatemala City International Airport is set to reopen on Wednesday after aviation authorities officially ground all planes and shut down the facility amid the eruption of the Pacaya volcano.

Ash from the volcano, located about 50 km south of Guatemala’s capital, was blown north over La Aurora International Airport (GUA) by a change in wind on Tuesday, blanketing planes and aircraft. air hub runways. The decision to close La Aurora was taken on the recommendation of the National Institute of Seismology, Volcanology, Meteorology and Hydrology of Guatemala, according to the Dirección General de Aeronáutica Civil (DGAC), the civil aviation authority. from the country.

In one Press release, the DGAC confirmed that nine planes had been grounded on Tuesday, while another had been diverted from El Salvador to Los Angeles.

Ash from the volcano, located about 50 km south of Guatemala City, was blown north over La Aurora International Airport (GUA) by a change in wind on Tuesday, coating planes and aircraft alike. air hub runways.
(DGAC Guatemala / Francis Argueta Aguirre)

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Photos and videos shared show aircraft crews cleaning ash from airport tarmacs, with pavement sweeping vehicles and some devices resembling large leaf blowers.

The Director General of the Civil Aviation Authority, Francis Argueta Aguirre, also had met with leaders from the National Institute of Seismology at the airport on Tuesday, to take stock of the state of the runways at La Aurora.

A message posted on the agency’s website on Wednesday morning confirmed the end of the temporary closure of La Aurora from 7 a.m. Wednesday local time. It is not known whether the planes planned for the service will remain grounded.

A message posted to the Civil Aviation Authority’s website on Wednesday confirmed the end of the temporary closure of La Aurora Airport from 7 a.m. local time.
(DGAC Guatemala / Francis Argueta Aguirre)

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Pacaya, a popular tourist attraction, has been in an active eruption since February. It is also located near the Fuego Volcano in Guatemala, which erupted in 2018, killing at least 110 people.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.



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