Mount Cleveland Erupts: Alaska Volcano Explosions Affecting Air Travel [VIDEO]

  • Michael Briggs , Design & Trend Staff Writer
  • May, 05, 2013, 05:28 PM

Alaska's Mount Cleveland volcano is undergoing a low-level eruption, according to scientists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory and the U.S. Geological Survey. The volcano first exploded Saturday morning at 5 a.m., but that explosion was followed by two more in the following hours at 9:17 and 11:44 a.m.

The volcano is currently sending a 15,000-foot cloud billowing into the sky eastward from the remote Alaskan island, which could affect air travel from Asia to North America. The aviation air alert level has been raised from "yellow" to "orange." Low-level emissions of gas, steam and ash have been detected by cameras and satellites, which have also recorded highly elevated surface temperatures at the summit.

"Sudden explosions of blocks and ash are possible with little or no warning," scientists said. "Ash clouds, if produced, could exceed 20,000 feet above sea level."

The 5,676-foot volcano is in the Aleutian Islands, which is 940 miles southwest of Anchorage. Its most recent eruption occurred in in February 2001 and included three explosions that sent ash clouds 39,000 feet above sea level.


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