Alaska News

Eruption of Pavlof Volcano continues, with ash rising up to 37,000 feet

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A volcano on the Alaska Peninsula, 600 miles southwest of Anchorage, erupted Sunday afternoon and sent ash 20,000 feet into the air.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory said on its website that the alert level had risen to warning and the aviation color code to red for the Pavlof Volcano, on the Alaska Peninsula about 30 miles northeast of the community of King Cove, and 36 miles from Cold Bay. The fresh eruptions, reported Sunday afternoon, raised the alert level from normal and the color code from green.

"As of 4:18 pm AKDT ... ash was reportedly moving northward from the volcano," AVO staff wrote. "Seismicity began to increase from background levels at about 3:53 pm ... with quick onset of continuous tremor, which remains at high levels."

A series of stills from an aviation weather camera positioned by the FAA in Cold Bay, showed an orange glow at Pavlof's summit (in the lower left corner of the camera's field) overnight and into the early morning hours Monday before sunrise revealed the continuing eruption.

According to the observatory, previous eruptions at Pavlof have produced eruptions up to 49,000 feet in height, with some drifting more than 300 miles from the volcano itself. AVO staff say the volcano's more than 40 previous eruptions have marked it as "one of the most consistently active volcanoes in the Aleutian arc."

Several eruptions at Pavlof in late 2014, with ash plumes up to 35,000 feet in height, prompted alerts before activity at the volcano died down again.