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Alaskan Volcano Raises USGS Alert, Causes Dozens Of Flight Cancellations Affecting Tens Of Thousands

Alaskan Volcano Raises USGS Alert, Causes Dozens Of Flight Cancellations Affecting Tens Of Thousands

The Alaskan Mount Pavlof volcanic eruption on Sunday grounded dozens flights and limited travel to western and northern communities, temporarily displacing tens of thousands of travelers.

According to USGS, the volcano sent an ash cloud to 37,000 feet above sea level and the Volcano Observatory Notices for Aviation (VONA) had raised the Aviation Color Code to RED and the Volcano Alert Level to WARNING on Monday.

On Tuesday morning, the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) had an alert level of WATCH and aviation color code of ORANGE as the current status for Pavlof.

"Seismicity and infrasound signals from Pavlof have dropped to low levels and it appears that the robust eruptive activity that began yesterday afternoon has declined for now. The level of seismic tremor is still slightly above background. A drifting ash cloud extending from the southern Bering Sea into interior Alaska is still present and may pose a hazard to air travel," AVO said in a statement.

Related Link: JetBlue, Alaska Air Battling For Virgin America Buyout

Flights Cancelled, Thousands Of Travelers Affected

By Monday afternoon, Alaska Air Group, Inc. (NYSE: ALK) noted that it had already cancelled dozens of flights since the volcano began actively erupting Sunday evening.

"Alaska Airlines has canceled 41 flights to and from six cities in northern Alaska including all flights operating to and from Fairbanks, due to a massive ash cloud that is moving north at up to 65 knots (75 mph) [...] The canceled flights affect 3,300 passengers," Alaska Airlines stated.

On Tuesday, Alaska Air issued another announcement, "Our System Operations Control (SOC) this morning is closely monitoring ash from Mount Pavlof volcano as strong winds continue to push ash into northern Alaska. Today Alaska has suspended 14 flights to Barrow, Bethel, Kotzebue, Nome and Prudhoe Bay, affecting some 1,400 passengers.

"Early indications from weather reports, satellite images and the Alaska Volcano Observatory suggest the ash cloud is moving towards Fairbanks and could impact flights to and from that airport later today. We'll make a decision about afternoon and evening flights to the affected cities by 12:00 PM Alaska time," the most recent update stated.

Image Credit: Public Domain; Pavlof Volcano 2004

Posted-In: Alaska AVO Mount Pavlof PavlofNews Travel Events General Best of Benzinga


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