aleutian islands

Courtesy of the Alaska Volcano Observatory

Scientists have downgraded the alert level for an Aleutian volcano that began showing an increase in signs of eruption and emitting harmful ash late last week. 

According to Dave Schneider, a geophysicist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory, over the last several weeks, satellites and pressure sensor data revealed ramped up activity at Semisopochnoi Volcano, which is located on an uninhabited island in the Rat Islands about 600 miles southwest of Unalaska. 

Courtesy of Bill Prout

A group of Bering Sea crabbers say the pandemic has slowed their fishing season, and they want more time to catch their quota before the state shuts down their season next week.

But the Alaska Department of Fish and Game has denied their request for an extension, citing low population numbers and an upcoming mating season. 

For the few boats fishing bairdi crab this year, there could be a lot at stake if they don't have time to catch their full quota. 

Courtesy of William Dushkin

Scientists have upgraded the alert level at one of Alaska's most active volcanoes after increased volcanic unrest.

Starting last week, satellites detected an increase of gas emissions and elevated surface temperatures at Cleveland Volcano, which is located on an uninhabited island in the central Aleutians, west of Umnak Island.

The data indicates a potential for increased eruptions, according to Dave Schneider, a geophysicist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory, so the AVO has raised the aviation color code to "yellow" and the alert level to "advisory." 

Hope McKenney/KUCB

The COVID-19 pandemic has already disrupted Alaska's winter Bering Sea fishing seasons, closing plants and adding quarantine-related complications for crews.

Now, some boats are contending with a shortage of fuel at a key island port, leaving them with less time to catch their quota. 

Hope McKenney/KUCB

One of the most remote regions in Alaska is the Aleutian Islands. And for the most part, communities along the island chain have done well throughout the pandemic, recording relatively few cases outside of seafood processing plants.

But as the COVID-19 vaccine becomes more widely available across the state and country, health care providers are grappling with the logistical challenges of distributing vaccines to the region's windswept communities. 

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