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Alaska’s most active volcano starts erupting

November 15, 2014

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — Alaska’s most active volcano as spitting lava into the air and producing an ash cloud at low elevations on Friday, authorities said.

The 8,262-foot (2,518-meter) Pavlof Volcano started erupting this week in a relatively uninhabited area of the Alaska Peninsula, about 625 miles (1,000 kilometers) southwest of Anchorage. The closest community is about 40 miles (65 kilometers) away.

Observers reported seeing dark snow on the surface of the volcano Wednesday, indicating an eruption has started. The eruption intensified that afternoon and continued Friday.

An ash cloud from the volcano extends about 125 miles (200 kilometers), but at a relatively low altitude of about 16,000 feet (4,900 meters).

David Schneider, a geophysicist with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Alaska Volcano Observatory, said even though there’s seismic monitoring systems on the volcano, Pavlof is considered the most subtle of Alaska’s volcanos. Magma can make its way up the volcano without producing any earthquakes.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory says the eruption could continue for days, weeks or months.

The volcano has had more than 40 eruptions this year and last.

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