A volcanic eruption in Alaska makes the FAA issues a red alert

The Bogoslof Volcano in the Aleutian Islands has erupted on Sunday at 0216L, sending a cloud of ash at least 35,000 feet high.

Photo: Colt Snapp

The eruption lasted 55 minutes and prompted the Alaska Volcano Observatory to temporarily raise the aviation alert to red, the highest level.

“We actually went to color code red Sunday afternoon because of numerous lightning detections and increased seismic signals,” Jeffrey Freymueller of the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks told CNN.

The volcano, because it sits on the Aleutian Islands, is right under one of the most used trans-pacific flights paths and its ash cloud could severely affect aircraft.

“Ash and aircraft do not mix, as volcanic ash is abrasive, melts at jet engine temperatures, and can cause engine failure,” according to the United States Geological Survey.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) last week said that flights were being rerouted around a similar ash cloud when the volcano previously erupted, according to CNN partner CBC.

According to Flightradar24 data, the trans-pacific routings are avoiding the volcanic ash:


A similar occurrence similar to this one is the eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull way back in 2010, which caused the shutdown of all Icelandic airspace for a few days. ATC restrictions will probably be applied in this case as well.

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