Alaska Volcano Sparks Red Alert

Bogoslof volcano erupts in the Aleutians, spewing ash 35K feet in the air
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted May 29, 2017 8:53 AM CDT
Alaska Volcano Sparks Red Alert
This photo taken Dec. 21, 2016, shows the Bogoslof Volcano erupting in the Aleutian Islands, Alaska. The active Alaska volcano, which has erupted 10 times since mid-December, erupted again Jan. 5, 2017, this time sending a cloud of ash and ice 35,000 feet in the air.   (Lynda Lybeck Robinson via AP)

Alaska issued a code red aviation alert on Sunday after a "significant explosive eruption" at its Bogoslof volcano, reports UPI, which sent an ash plume at least 35,000 feet in the air on a key flight path between North America and Asia. "We actually went to color code red this afternoon because of numerous lightning detections and increased seismic signals," Jeffrey Freymueller of the University of Alaska's Geophysical Institute tells CNN. "The combination of lightning and seismic data allowed us to go to red within about half an hour of the start of the eruption."

The alert was later downgraded to orange, but ash plumes in flight paths are no joke, notes the USGS: "Ash and aircraft do not mix, as volcanic ash is abrasive, melts at jet engine temperatures, and can cause engine failure." (More volcano stories.)

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