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30 December 2011

US issues alert over volcano clouds

The US Geological Survey has issued a heightened alert after a volcano on a remote Alaskan island belched a cloud of ash 15 000

feet high, potentially affecting trans-Pacific flight routes.

The eruption burst forth from the Cleveland Volcano on a remote and uninhabited island about 1 500 kilometres south-west of Anchorage.

“Satellite data indicate that this is a single explosion event, however, more sudden explosions producing ash could occur, with plumes exceeding 20 000 feet above sea level,” USGS said.

The 1 730-meter volcano is currently under an orange alert, the second-highest, denoting either “escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption” or an eruption with “no or minor volcanic-ash emissions.”

- Sapa-AFP