Alaska volcano erupts, triggers highest aviation warning

© Alaska Volcano Observatory, @alaska_avo via Twitter Aerial photos of Bogoslof Island on May 8, 2017. Alaska’s Bogoslof Volcano erupted Sunday, sending a plume of ash at least 35,000 feet into the air and temporarily triggering the highest aviation alert, scientists say.

The Bogoslof Volcano in the Aleutian Islands erupted at 2:16 p.m. Sunday, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory. The eruption lasted 55 minutes.

No further ash emissions have occurred at Bogoslof Volcano since the explosion, and seismic activity remains low, according to the observatory.

“We are therefore lowering the Aviation Color Code to ORANGE and the Alert Level to WATCH,” the agency said in a statement. “Additional ash-producing eruptions could occur at any time, however, with no detectable precursors.”

The clouds of ash from erupting volcanoes are a threat to jet engines. Airliners operating between North America and Asia fly in Bogoslof’s path.

Volcano eruptions have wreaked havoc on air travel in the past, not to mention caused significant environmental impact. In 2010, the eruption of Iceland’s Eyjafjallajökull Volcano led to the cancellation of tens of thousands of flights in Europe.

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