Volcano eruption delays RailHawks' soccer match

From staff and wire reportsJuly 4, 2013 

Rain delays? Sure. Lightning delays? Understandable. But a volcano delay? Well, that's uncommon.

The Carolina RailHawks announced Thursday afternoon that Saturday's soccer match in Cary against Mexican First Division team Puebla FC was postponed after a Mexican volcano erupted, grounding all flights at nearby airports.

The Popocatepetl volcano spewed volcanic ash, steam and glowing rock, disrupting flights at airports in Mexico City and Toluca, according to a notice posted on the RailHawks' website. The match will be rescheduled, but no date will be set until at least Monday.

Mexico City airport spokesman Jorge Gomez said U.S. Airways, Delta, United, American and Alaska Airlines canceled 47 flights as a precaution. But he said the airport otherwise continues to operate normally and that by Thursday afternoon no ash had reached the area, about 40 miles from the volcano.

Authorities registered several tremors Thursday at the 17,886-foot volcano, which has been spraying a fountain of hot rock and ash for the last 24 hours.

Federal civil protection authorities established a 7-mile safety radius around the Popocatepetl, which means no one can enter that area. They also are ensuring that no cars transit through the Paseo de Cortes, a mountain pass between the Popocatepetl and Ixtaccihuatl volcanoes.

An iconic backdrop to Mexico City's skyline on clear days, Popocatepetl sits roughly halfway between Mexico City and the city of Puebla.

The Associated Press contributed to this article.

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