Warnings of Possible Volcano Eruption in Alaska

A swarm of earthquakes occurring over the past few weeks has intensified at a remote Alaska volcano dormant for over a century, a possible indication of an impending eruption, reports The Courier.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory raised the alert level to advisory status for Tanaga Volcano late Tuesday after the quakes became very vigorous.

The volcano is on an uninhabited island in the western Aleutians, about 1,250 miles (2,012 kilometers) southwest of Anchorage. There are no communities or structures there, but Adak, a city of about 170 residents on another island, is about 65 miles (105 kilometers) away and could see ashfall.

If the volcano were to erupt, the biggest threat would be to aircraft. The Aleutians are below the routes that jets fly between North America and Asia. Volcanic ash is angular and sharp and can cause an airplane engine to shut down.

Previous eruptions had both ash clouds and lava that moves very slowly away from the mountain, much like what happened at Mount St. Helens in Washington state in 1980.

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