Alaska not expecting ash from Kamchatka eruption, for now

The Shiveluch volcano as seen from the International Space Station in July 2007. (NASA via public domain)

Alaska scientists are watching a massive volcanic eruption on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, and, so far, it does not appear to be sending ash to mainland parts of the state.

Shiveluch Volcano began spewing ash high into the atmosphere on Monday — up to at least 50,000 feet — and the huge ash cloud was drifting east.

Hans Schwaiger, a research geophysicist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory, said the eruption is not expected to create any ash deposits on the ground in Alaska, but that could change.

“Yeah, it could easily move further across the Aleutians towards Dutch Harbor. It could affect, maybe, Southeast Alaska,” he said. “We’ll just have to see. It’s still putting out ash.”

For now, Schwaiger said, the ash is affecting air traffic in the region, which includes the far western Aleutians. Nearly 3 inches of ash has dropped on a nearby village.

He said the Alaska Volcano Observatory and its international partners will continue to monitor the situation.

Casey Grove is host of Alaska News Nightly, a general assignment reporter and an editor at Alaska Public Media. Reach him at Read more about Casey here

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