Alaskan volcano erupts

2013-05-05 08:32


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Anchorage - Alaska's Cleveland Volcano is undergoing a continuous low-level eruption following an explosion early on Saturday morning, scientists from the Alaska Volcano Observatory and the US Geological Survey said.

Satellites and cameras suggest low-level emissions of gas, steam and ash, scientists said, and satellites detected highly elevated surface temperatures at the summit. A faint plume of ash extended eastward below 15 000 feet (4 600m), but the Federal Aviation Administration said there were no flight restrictions as a result.

"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 aviation alert level was raised from "yellow" to "orange." A major ash emission could threaten international flights.

The activity began with an explosion at 05:00 on Saturday, followed by two others at 09:17 and 11:44. A nearby seismic network detected long-duration airwave signals that indicate a sustained eruption.

Cleveland is a 5 675-foot (1 700m) peak on a remote, uninhabited island southwest of Anchorage. 

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