Cleveland Volcano eruption sends ash up to 35,000 feet

Casey Grove
Kevin Powell

A volcano on an uninhabited Aleutian island erupted Tuesday afternoon, sending ash thousands of feet into the air, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Cleveland Volcano, which sits on Chuginadak Island 940 miles southwest of Anchorage, had been restless for months, causing concern for trans-oceanic air travel in the area. Lava domes grew in the 5,675-foot volcano's crater, and it burped up small amounts of ash during its most-recent rumbling, but, at the end of May, volcanologists downgraded the likelihood of an eruption.

Cleveland finally popped Tuesday about 2 p.m., exploding briefly and shooting a cloud of volcanic ash up to 35,000 feet, the observatory said on its website. A pilot in the area and scientists viewing a web camera saw the ash, and distant instruments detected a short explosion, the observatory said.

The volcano could erupt again with little or no warning, the volcanologists said.

Reach Casey Grove at or 257-4589.

Anchorage Daily News