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Alaska volcano erupts with red alert intensity: Plumes below air traffic so far

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An Alaskan volcano has erupted with the intensity that calls for a red alert, which is the first time in five years that scientists have issued this highest of all alerts. The volcano that has been spewing ash and lava for years blasted with major force this week, causing a dangerous situation.

According to Reuters on June 4, the Pavolof Volcano hasn't disrupted any air traffic as of yet because the weather pattern has been favorable for flights to navigate around the area. The volcano is in a rural, uninhabited area of Alaska, about 600 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Yahoo News reports that the volcano sent up a "billowy ash plume" that could threaten local flights. The scientists are keeping an eye on the volcano and monitoring the intensity of the eruption.

The last red alert was issued by scientists at the Alaska Volcano Observatory back in 2009, when the Alaskan volcano Mount Redoubt erupted and spewed ash 50,000 feet. Today's eruption can continue for weeks or even months, report the scientists from the observatory.

Based on the volcano's past, the scientists expect this eruption to go on for a while. Other than some hunting destinations, the area around the erupting volcano is desolate.

The decision to issue the red alert was made on Monday. On Tuesday the plumes coming from the erupting beast reached 24,000 feet. The smoke and ash are still under the height that jetliners fly. The jets usually fly at elevations of 30,000 feet.

The plumes seen coming from the volcano are created when lava bursts from inside the crater of the volcano and then they fall back on the glacier ice. The crater of this 8,261 volcano has become very active this week with plumes.

As of now scientist do not believe the volcano will disrupt air traffic. The ash is contained to lower elevations today. The volcano is "putting on a good show," said Michelle Coombs, the observatory research geologist.

With the weather being so clear, people are able to snap great pictures of the eruption today. Coombs said "they are getting a lot of pilot reports and a lot of good photos, so we're able to keep a good eye on it."

For now, Mother Nature is putting on a good show, but the scientists are watching it and monitoring the intensity of the eruption to make sure that it remains only "a good show!"



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