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Ash cloud disperses after Russian volcano erupts

Posted: October 22, 2013 - 12:04am

JUNEAU — An ash cloud from a Russian volcano has dissipated after causing air traffic concerns over the weekend.

The eruption from the Klyuchevskoy volcano that prompted the concerns ended Sunday, Alaska time, and there were no warnings for related airborne ash on Monday, said Dave Schneider, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey at the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

Schneider said the ash cloud was spread out, following along the arc of the Aleutian Islands and extending into the Yukon though at a diffused level.

He said Klyuchevskoy is an active volcano and the latest eruption was slighter bigger than what is typically seen though not significantly so.

The National Weather Service, in a Facebook posting Sunday, said the volcano, on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, had been producing “copious amounts of volcanic ash and gas,” and satellite imagery had shown a “very thin plume of gas and ash extending from the Western Aleutians well south into the North Pacific from a previous explosion.”

It said the main impact would be the diversion of international flight traffic.

Margaret Tyler, a spokeswoman for Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, said there were no reports of big air traffic delays in Alaska associated with the eruption. The airport is Alaska’s largest commercial airport.

PenAir spokeswoman Missy Roberts said two Dutch Harbor flights and one Sand Point flight were canceled due to a potential ash cloud. But she said by email “everything else went off as planned” and schedules for the regional carrier resumed Sunday.

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