Alaska volcano back at 'normal' status

Posted: Thursday, January 07, 2010

ANCHORAGE - Scientists say Alaska's Mount Redoubt volcano has calmed down to a "normal" alert level after days of low activity at the Cook Inlet peak about 105 miles southwest of Anchorage.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory cited a low level of seismic activity and no signs of unrest in Tuesday's decision to reduce the aviation alert level at the 10,200-foot volcano from yellow to green. A yellow alert means there are signs of elevated activity above the known background level while green signals inactive status.

A swarm of small, shallow earthquakes began occurring Dec. 27, prompting the observatory to increase the alert level. The quakes have now subsided.

Redoubt went through an eruptive period that included major explosions last spring, including one that dusted Anchorage with ashfall.

The activity forced the Cook Inlet Pipeline Co. to remove millions of gallons of oil stored at the Drift River Terminal 22 miles away. Hundreds of airline flights also had to be canceled because of ash clouds.

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