Alert level raised after explosion at remote Alaska volcano

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — A small explosion was recorded Thursday at a remote volcano on the Alaska Peninsula, prompting officials to raise the alert level.

Satellite and webcam views indicated low-level ash emissions from Mount Veniaminof volcano. The ash plume did not rise above 10,000 feet (3048 meters), the Alaska Volcano Observatory said. Minor ash deposits are visible at the volcano, located 480 miles (772 kilometers) southwest of Anchorage.

Officials said eruptive activity typically includes minor ash, lava fountaining and lava flows from the small cone in the ice-filled summit caldera. Ashfall is usually confined to the summit crater but larger explosions can send ash to nearby communities, as happened in a 2018 eruption.

Veniaminof is one of the most active volcanos in the Aleutians, erupting at least 14 times in the last 200 years.

The stratovolcano located in the Alaska Peninsula National Wildlife Refuge is usually shrouded in fog and clouds, and the entire volcano is usually only visible once or twice a year, the park service said.

Mount Veniaminof, with an elevation of 8,225 feet (2,507 meters), has an ice field of 25 square miles (64.75 square kilometers). The park service says it’s the only known glacier on the North American continent with an active volcanic vent in the center.

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