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Alaskan volcano erupts, sending ash 35,000 feet into air

By
Danielle Haynes
Bogoslof Volcano in Alaska's Aleutian Islands erupted Sunday, prompting air travel alerts in the area. Eruptions since 2015 have tripled the landmass of the island on which the volcano sits. File Photo courtesy the Smithsonian Institute National Museum of Natural History Global Volcanism Program
Bogoslof Volcano in Alaska's Aleutian Islands erupted Sunday, prompting air travel alerts in the area. Eruptions since 2015 have tripled the landmass of the island on which the volcano sits. File Photo courtesy the Smithsonian Institute National Museum of Natural History Global Volcanism Program

May 29 (UPI) -- A volcano an Alaska's Aleutian island chain erupted, sending a plume of ash at least 35,000 feet in the air and prompting a temporary aviation alert, state officials said.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory recorded a "significant explosive eruption" starting at 2:16 p.m. Sunday. Bogoslof Volcano, located on the island of the same name, may have sent ash up to 45,000 feet into the air.

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"An observer on Unalaska Island reported seeing a large white-gray mushroom cloud form over Bogoslof, with ash fallout to the west," the agency reported.

Officials raised the aviation alert in the area to a code red, but downgraded it to an orange after the eruption subsided.

"We actually went to color code red this afternoon because of numerous lightning detections and increased seismic signals," Jeffrey Freymueller of the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks told CNN. "Lightning in the Aleutians is mostly due to volcanic plumes, as the meteorological conditions for lightning are not common."

An eruption earlier this year changed the shape and coastline of Bogoslof Island, and eruptions since 2015 have caused its landmass to triple in size, CNN reported.

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