Volcano Eruption Delays Puerto Rico Flights*
The Associated Press
Saturday, March 10, 2007; 9:28 PM
SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico -- Volanic ash from the Caribbean island of
Montserrat disrupted airport traffic in Puerto Rico Saturday, prompting
delays and cancellations by several airlines.
Most of the problems were in the small airport in the southern city of
Ponce, but four Delta Airlines flights were canceled in San
Most flights out of San Juan were unaffected, Sosa said.
A large cloud of dust from the Sahara Desert also was contributing to
the poor visibility, said Miguel Calimano, general manager of Puerto
Rico's regional airport system.
Ash from the volcano in Montserrat, a British territory about 275 miles
southwest of Puerto Rico, often clouds the skies of the Caribbean.
In recent days, officials have warned that a dome of hardened lava over
the Soufriere Hills volcano has swollen to near-record size and could
collapse. On Wednesday, the Montserrat Volcano Observatory said the ash
cloud had reached 8,000 feet and was blowing west.
People in Montserrat have been on alert since Dec. 24, when the dome's
growth shifted toward the volcano's northwestern flank, which is home to
many of the island's 5,000 inhabitants. In January, the government
issued an evacuation order for dozens of households.
The volcano's 1997 eruption buried much of the island's south and killed