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Two Alaska volcanoes erupt just hours apart

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Staff Writer | Friday May 19, 2017 7:55AM ET
Alaska volcanoes
Bogoslof   Drifting south over the Pacific Ocean

An eruption at Bogoslof volcano – one of two to erupt in the Aleutian Islands Tuesday – is its first after more than two months of inactivity, causing ash to fall in a nearby community before drifting south over the Pacific Ocean.


The Alaska Volcano Observatory said Tuesday night's eruption at the volcano about 60 miles west of Unalaska, which began just after 10:30 p.m. and lasted for 73 minutes, sent a plume to an altitude of 34,000 feet.

By midday Wednesday, a lack of further activity caused AVO to lower Bogoslof's aviation color code to "orange" and its alert level to "watch" — down from the more severe "red" and "warning" levels. Staff cautioned in an update that "(a)dditional ash-producing eruptions could occur at any time, however, with no detectable precursors."

Hans Schwaiger, a geophysicist at the observatory, said a pilot spotted ash from the eruption Tuesday night. Although Bogoslof's last previous eruption was March 8, Tuesday's blast is still part of the same eruption cycle that began at the volcano in mid-December.

"Each of these eruptive cycles can be months to many months," Schwaiger said. "It wasn't the strongest of the eruptions in this sequence."

 

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