An ongoing eruption of a remote volcano in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands produced an ash cloud so large Tuesday that warnings were sent to pilots about potentially dangerous conditions.
An ash cloud with an initial height of around 5.5 miles was reported following the morning eruption of Shishaldin Volcano. But by early afternoon, ash emissions were below 1.9 miles, and the aviation alert was downgraded, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory.
The volcano is about 700 miles southwest of Anchorage and sits near the middle of Unimak Island. The island’s 65 or so residents live about 25 miles northeast of the volcano, in the community of False Pass.
Volcanic ash is angular and sharp and has been used as an industrial abrasive. The powdered rock can cause a jet engine to shut down.
Shishaldin is a symmetric cone with a base diameter of 10 miles, the observatory said. The 660-foot funnel-shaped crater often emits steam and an occasional amount of ash.