Aleutian Flights Affected By Erupting Volcanoes in Russia

Mar 18, 2019

An eruption at Bezymianny Volcano in Russia has contributed to flight delays and cancelations in the Aleutian Islands.
Credit Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team

Volcanic eruptions on Russia's Kamchatka Peninsula have delayed and canceled flights in the Aleutian Islands over the last several days.

Bezymianny Volcano exploded Friday, throwing ash 50,000 feet into the air — some 1,300 miles from Unalaska.

Meanwhile, Sheveluch Volcano has remained restless since an eruption last month, with a growing lava dome and continued ash emissions.

All that activity has generated international flight warnings, according to Dave Schneider of the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

"The volcanoes on the Kamchatka Peninsula are some of the most active in the north Pacific," he said. "The recent eruptions there are pretty typical. What can happen is the drifting ash cloud — since the wind is typically from the west — can blow over Alaska airspace."

While that cloud could endanger planes traveling in the region, Schneider said he expects the threat to pass quickly as ash dissipates.

Unalaska's flights resumed Sunday after all were canceled Saturday.