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Alert level raised as Alaska volcano spits out ash

Scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory said that Pavlof Volcano entered a "new phase of eruptive activity" Wednesday, prompting a heightened alert level as the volcano spewed an ash plume into the atmosphere.

A ground observer in Cold Bay, a community about 36 miles away, reported seeing ash emissions at around 9,000 feet elevation. At 4:50 p.m., "minor ash emissions" could also be seen from a web camera operated in Cold Bay by the Federal Aviation Administration, according to the AVO.

Pavlof Volcano last erupted beginning in early June and ending in late July of this year, and is considered one of the most active volcanoes in Alaska.

Shortly before 7 p.m. Wednesday, AVO upgraded the alert level for the volcano from "normal" to "watch" in a volcano activity notification posted online.

In its post, the AVO said seismic tremor had increased over the past few hours and remained elevated. A low cloud deck obscured satellite observation of the volcano, it said.