Trace ash from volcano falls on 2 Alaska Peninsula communities

Daily News staff and wire reportsOctober 11, 2013 

A volcano on the Alaska Peninsula has again become active after being quiet for about a month, with a trace of ash falling on communities up to 35 miles away.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory says in a release that Veniaminof Volcano resumed its 2013 eruption on Saturday.

It's been marked by lava flows, fountaining and intermittent but small ash, steam and gas plumes.

The plumes usually only travel a few miles from the volcano but the communities of Chignik Lake and Chignik Lagoon, about 35 miles away, reported trace ash on Friday.

They are the same areas that felt the offshore, 4.5-magnitude earthquake that was reported about 56 miles south of Chignik Lagoon on Friday afternoon, according to the Alaska Earthquake Information Center at the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

"We heard the rumbling coming first and then, all of a sudden, it hit my house hard," said Debbie Carlson, travel administrator with the Chignik Bay Tribal Council. She said her home shook briefly but nothing was broken.

The volcano's presence has been more long-standing. Carlson has heard reports from family members who haven't been able to sleep at night because of the, at times, thunderous volcano. She said she remembers some ash collecting on cars a few weeks ago but nothing recently.

The observatory says ash fall from the volcano 480 miles southwest of Anchorage is not considered to be significant. The eruption started in June.

Delissa McCormick, village administrator with the Native Village of Chignik Lagoon, felt the earthquake too. She said it's the first big earthquake she's felt this fall.

Meanwhile, the volcano keeps rumbling "around the clock," she said. McCormick compared the noise to distant cannons or thunder.

"You can rub your hands across the cars and feel the ash," she said. "But everybody's still going out and still using their vehicles."

Reporting by Daily News reporter Tegan Hanlon and The Associated Press.

 

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