Volcanic ash cloud cancels, delays flights at B.C. airport

Volcanic ash cloud cancels, delays flights at B.C. airport
AP Photo/Yuri Demyanchuk
The Klyuchevskoy volcano, one of the highest active volcanoes in the world, erupts in Russia's northern Kamchatka Peninsula, Russian Far East, on Wednesday, Nov. 1, 2023.

Airline travellers arriving at and departing from British Columbia’s busiest airport braced for cancellations and delays this weekend due to a volcanic ash cloud.

Vancouver International Airport (YVR), in a series of posts on X, warned of “a small number of flight delays and cancellations” due to the cloud, which it said was made up of ash from a volcano overseas.

“The volcano where the ash is coming from erupted in Russia on Wednesday,” YVR said around 8 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 4, urging passengers to check the status of their flight.

By 8:30 a.m. Sunday, it said the ash cloud had cleared from the area, meaning flights were operating as scheduled.

“For those travelling or picking up loved ones, (please) continue to check latest flight info at YVR.ca or with your airline,” it added.

YVR is regarded as Canada’s second busiest airport, behind Toronto Pearson Airport. A report from YVR says the airport welcomed 7.1 million passengers in recent months.

CHEK News spoke with a media representative from Victoria International Airport (YYJ), who said they weren’t aware of any delays at YYJ due to the cloud.

But a passenger travelling from Cancun to Victoria says their flight was delayed several hours.

“Our flight from Cancun was delayed by four hours last night due to this ‘cloud.’ Stuck on the tarmac in Mexico waiting to get more fuel in case we couldn’t land here,” they told CHEK News.

“When we finally left they talked about diverting us to Calgary or Kelowna for the night, but we were able to land in Victoria around 1:45 a.m.!”

Klyuchevskaya Sopka

Eurasia’s tallest active volcano, Klyuchevskaya Sopka, sent ash columns above a Russian peninsula when it erupted Wednesday, according to the Associated Press.

It says no injuries were reported, but officials closed two schools as a precaution.

The 4,650-metre (15,255-foot) stratovolcano has been active in recent years and released lava in June, and last week’s eruptions sent ash as high as 13 kilometres (8 miles) above sea level.

Ethan MorneauEthan Morneau

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