Mount Redoubt simmers down

March 30th, 2009 - 3:05 pm ICT by Amrit Rashmisrisethi  

Mt RedoubtMount Redoubt , in Alaska simmered down after spreading a layer of gritty volcanic ash over several communities, including the state’s largest city.

Last Sunday,the volcano was emitting low-level tremors but didn’t erupt, monitors at the Alaska Volcano Observatory said. A plume rose 25,000 feet above sea level, but scientists said it appeared to be only vapour and they were not adding it to Redoubt’s 18 eruptions during the past week.

The calm follows several strong eruptions Saturday that spewed an ash cloud 100 miles northeast to Anchorage, the state’s largest city, and beyond. Nikiski, about 50 miles from Redoubt, was among the worst hit communities. Observatory volcanologist Game McGimsey said the ash accumulation there was as thick as a dime.

The volcano last erupted in 1989-90. A 1989 eruption sent ash 150 miles (250 km) away into the path of a KLM flight carrying 231 passengers, flaming out its four engines. Pilots ultimately restarted the engines and landed safely.

The latest activity has caused flooding and mud flows into the Drift River valley, where the Chevron-operated Drift River Terminal is located. The terminal has 6.2 million gallons of oil stored in two tanks.

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