Video: Alaska volcano erupts, again

updated 1/17/2006 6:32:32 PM ET 2006-01-17T23:32:32

Augustine Volcano erupted Tuesday morning, sending an ash plume 8½ miles into the air, officials at the Alaska Volcano Observatory said.

Because winds are moving in different directions at different elevations, an ash fall advisory was issued for communities along the southwest portion of the Kenai Peninsula and east of the volcano, in the Kamishak and Iliamna bays.

“Light ash can be expected, nothing that would accumulate in any thickness,” said Michelle Coombs, a geologist at the observatory.

Last week’s blasts sent plumes of ash drifting northeast across Cook Inlet into several Kenai Peninsula communities, where a fine layer of ash fell.

The eruption from the volcano, 180 miles southwest of Anchorage, lasted for just five minutes. It was likely similar to six significant eruptions last week “but a little more energetic,” Coombs said.

The most recent explosion occurred just after midnight on Saturday. It was followed by a lull lasting into Sunday afternoon, when officials had lowered the earlier red warning level to orange.

Most of last week’s brief eruptions reached about 5½ miles, but a pilot reported one plume rising about 10 miles high. The eruptions of gritty, abrasive ash on Friday and Saturday halted air travel and closed schools Friday.

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