Alaskan Volcano Put on Alert

December 30, 2011

An explosion at a volcano in Alaska caused the U.S. Geological Survey to put out an alert.

USGS detected a drifting ash cloud at the Cleveland Volcano, which is on an uninhabited island in the east central Aleutian Islands, in satellite images on Thursday, the office said. Based on the presence of the ash cloud, USGS raised the volcano to a higher alert state of “orange.”

An range stat signifies the volcano is “exhibiting heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption,” with no timeframe set for a potential eruption.

“Satellite data indicate this is a single explosion event, however, more sudden explosions producing ash could occur with plumes exceeding 20,000 feet above sea level,” USGS said.

Cleveland Volcano is 940 miles southwest of Anchorage. It’s most recent notable eruption was in February, 2001, producing ash clouds that reached 39,000 feet, as well as lava flow.

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