Alaskan Volcano Erupts

Mount Redoubt erupts five times, rains ash, cancels Anchorage flights

Heading out the door? Read this article on the new Outside+ app available now on iOS devices for members! Download the app.

We told you this would happen: It took longer than expected, but Alaska’s Mount Redoubt, part of the rarely visited Lake Clark National Park, started erupting on Sunday and has erupted four more times or so since. The eruptions have sent columns of white smoke thousands of feet into the sky, canceling flights in Anchorage and depositing a fine layer of ash as far north as Healy, on the edge of Denali National Park.

The 100 residents of the nearby town of Port Alsworth have it worse, though. Townspeople have been forced to stay indoors to avoid breathing in the abrasive ash, and since flying is the only way out of the remote town, everybody is stranded. (Hopefully, someone in town has a good board game collection.)

Alaska Airlines grounded 45 of its flights, citing obvious safety concerns of flying planes in ash clouds. Said company spokesperson Bobbie Egan: 

The last time Redoubt erupted in 1989, the volcano spewed ash clouds consistently for a week, and then it alternated between growing a lava dome and shooting out ash clouds.

Aspiring vulcanologists can follow Redoubt’s progress and threat level at the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

—Ted Alvarez

As Redoubt erupts, interior Alaska residents feel the effects (Fairbanks News-Miner)

Image Credit: Alaska Volcano Observatory