On Sunday afternoon, the Alaskan Aleutian Islands were shaken to their core by a violent volcano eruption that spewed ashes up to 20,000 feet in the air.
According to data from the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), the Pavlof Volcano, located about 600 miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska, erupted at 4:18 pm on Sunday, March 27, 2016.
The ground was shaking due to the tremors – which were felt hundreds of miles away – and the volcanic ashes reached a high enough altitude for the USGS to issue a volcano and aviation alert to “Warning” and “Red” respectively.
Records of the agency show that the previous eruption of the Pavlof Volcano occurred in 2013; back then, the ashes reached an even higher altitude of to 27,000 feet, causing similar aviation alerts.
The U.S. Geological Survey describes the Pavlof Volcano as measuring around 4.4 miles in diameter. Apparently, this is “one of the most consistently active volcanoes in the Aleutian arc,” with 40 known eruptions in recorded history.
The Pavlof is the most active volcano in the Alaskan Aleutian islands. To gain some perspective, you must know that probably the most powerful eruption of this mountain resulted in ashes reaching heights of 49,000 feet. Another previous eruption in 2013 sent ash plumes to altitudes of 27,000 feet.
However, the active volcano is thankfully not close to any habitat region, as people are not allowed to stay in proximity due to the dangerous volcanic activity.
Cold Bay is the nearest settlement to the Pavlof Volcano, situated about 37 miles away from the volcanic area; it is home to a population of approximately 100 people.
Located in the U.S. state of Alaska, the Aleutian Arc is made up of a long range of both active and dormant volcanoes, which were formed by the subduction along the Aleutian Trench.
Even though the volcano’s eruption did not pose any significant danger, the USGS agency is keeping a close eye in the following hours and days after the event.
The USGS is also wary of a smaller risk of avalanches rolling down hot rocks and possibly causing mudslides.
The Pavlof is situated along key international aviation routes that connect Asia, Europe and North America, and reports say that if the ash cloud worsens following the eruption, travel chaos could ensue.
For now, authorities have taken all the necessary precautions. No casualties have been reported in the wake of the eruption of the Pavlof Volcano, and the USGS is confident this won’t change.
Image Source: Business Insider