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Alaska not expecting ash from Kamchatka eruption, for now, though ash cloud has drifted over the Aleutians

NASA via public domain
Shiveluch Volcano as seen from the International Space Station in July 2007.

Alaska scientists are watching a massive volcanic eruption on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula. So far, it does not appear to be sending ash to mainland parts of the state, but the ash cloud has drifted over the Aleutian Islands.

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

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

“It could easily move further across the Aleutians towards Dutch Harbor," said Schwaiger. "It could affect, maybe, Southeast Alaska. 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, including the Aleutians, and pointed particularly to cargo flights. He said the Alaska Volcano Observatory and its international partners will continue to monitor the situation.

The volcano has dropped nearly three inches of ash on a nearby village in Russia.

KUCB's Sofia Stuart-Rasi contributed reporting.

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