Cleveland Volcano in Alaska erupts

October 3rd, 2009 - 11:13 pm ICT by BNO News  

CHUGINADAK ISLAND, ALASKA (BNO NEWS) – Alaska’s Cleveland Volcano briefly erupted on Friday evening, according to volcanologist on Saturday, but no one was thought to be at risk.

Friday’s eruption was described as being brief and started at around 11.30 p.m. local time (0730 UTC). According to the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), satellite data indicated that the Cleveland volcano was producing an ash cloud to maximum altitudes of 15,000′ to 20,000′ (4.5 to 6.1 kilometers).

In response to the eruption, the center raised the aviation color code to Orange and the volcano alert level to “Watch.”

“The lack of a real-time seismic network at Cleveland means that AVO is unable to track local earthquake activity related to volcanic unrest,” a statement from the agency said. “Short-lived explosions with ash plumes that could exceed 20,000 ft above sea level can occur without warning and may go undetected on satellite imagery.”

The volcano is located on the western half of Chuginadak Island, a remote and uninhabited island in the east central Aleutian Islands of Alaska. It is located about 45 miles (75 kilometers) west of the community of Nikolski, which has only a few dozen residents. Cleveland has seen an increase in activity over the past decade. Friday’s eruption marks the third one this year, with earlier eruptions in January and June.

The volcano’s most recent significant eruption began in February of 2001, when it produced three explosive events that created ash clouds as high as 39,000 ft (12 kilometer) above sea level. The eruption also produced a lava flow and a hot avalanche that reached the sea.

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