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Pavlof Volcano Erupts, On Red Alert Level, Planes Unsafe In Alaska? [PHOTOS]

Travelers Today       By    Althea Serad

Updated: Nov 16, 2014 10:34 AM EST

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Pavlof Volcano in Alaska erupts Wednesday, and the volcano just pushed lava out from a vent near its summit. By Friday, the ash cloud from Pavlof Volcano already reached 16,000 feet. On Saturday, the eruption intensified further at 6 a.m., spewing ash clouds even higher, according to Dave Schneider, a geophysicist at Alaska Volcano Observatory.

The National Weather Service also warned airplanes Saturday to avoid airspace near the Pavlof Volcano as it spewed ash 35,000 feet above sea level by late Saturday afternoon. According to the NWS, ash was being blown to the west and northwest of Pavlof Volcano Saturday.

Because of the Pavlof Volcano eruption and increasing height of the ashes spewn, scientists at the AVO reportedly raised the alert level for Pavlof Volcano from "watch" (orange) to "warning" (red).

AVO reportedly uses the U.S. Geological Survey's color coding system for information on volcanic alerts. The red alert level raised Saturday means that "eruption is imminent with significant emission of volcanic ash into the atmosphere likely OR eruption is underway or suspected with significant emission of volcanic ash into the atmosphere."

"Satellite, pilot reports, and wind data show the ash cloud moving towards the northwest over the Bering Sea," AVO statedon its website  1:21 p.m. "Ash cloud height and direction will vary significantly through an eruption."

Schneider added that it remains unclear how long the Pavlof Volcano eruption will last. The eruptions could reportedly last weeks, or even months and with varied levels of intensity.

Located about 625 miles southwest of Anchorage, Pavlof Volcano is Alaska's most active one. Over the years, it has had more than 40 recorded eruptions, of which include the first quarter of the year and another one last year.

Fortunately, the current eruption has had little effect on the residents on ground, reports the Associated Press. The closest community to Pavlof Volcano is Cold Bay, located 40 miles away.

Volcanic ash is risky to aircraft, therefore the AVO advised pilots to consult the Alaska Aviation Weather Unit of the NWS for further meteorological updates, reports Alaska Dispatch News. 

The Pavlof Volcano in Alaska, one of the most active volcanoes in the state, is situated along international air routes connecting Europe, North America and Asia, according to the Guardian.

See Now: The U.S. had the highest number of Most Wanted properties, dominating the Hotels.com Loved By Guests Awards 2018

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