Alaskan Volcano Eruption Causes Rumbles but No Worries
The Alaskan Volcano Observatory (AVO) reports an ongoing eruption at Mount Veniaminof, a remote 8,225-foot stratovolcano on the Alaska Peninsula.
The AVO reports a high level of seismic activity around the volcano and elevated surface temperatures consistent with the conditions needed for lava flow. As of the last AVO report, heavy cloud cover obscured Veniaminof's summit, but satellite data confirmed lava effusion.
Officials have said local residents have no cause for alarm, according to The Associated Press. The closest settlement to the volcano is the town of Perryville about 20 miles away.
Veniaminof is part of a lengthy chain of volcanoes which runs along the Alaska Peninsula, which juts out to sea in the state's southwest.
After a week-long hiatus, the volcano, which has seen activity since June of this year, shot clouds of ash and steam into the air earlier in the week. One plume Monday rose to more than 12,000 feet in the air. The volcano, which is about 485 miles away from Anchorage, showed little signs of activity last week.
So far, the increase in volcanic activity has not interrupted commercial aviation operations, though the AVO has placed the aviation watch at code orange. Ash would need to soar as high as 30,000 feet before the aviation code was lifted to red, the highest level.
The volcano is named after a Russian Orthodox missionary priest who later went on to become Saint Innocent of Alaska in the Orthodox Church.
Mount Veniaminof is the site of a massive volcanic eruption that happened around 1750 BC which left a huge caldera in its wake. Eruptions since then (more than 10 since the 1930s) have been located at a cinder cone in the middle of the caldera.
Because of its high elevation, most of the caldera is covered by a glacier.