In a development that could impact air travel to Asia, Alaska’s Cleveland Volcano experienced a large explosion early Saturday morning, and has been undergoing a continuous low-level eruption ever since, the Associated Press reports.
The ash plume from the eruption remains below 15,000 feet, and the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has said that there have been no flight restrictions issued as a result of the eruption, the AP says. The aviation alert level has been raised from yellow to orange.
Reuters reports that the eruption has prompted aviation officials to divert some traffic north of the volcano as a precautionary measure. U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist at the Alaska Volcano Observatory Rick Wessels tells Reuters that, at 15,000 feet, the ash plume is currently to low to pose a danger to airplanes.
“Once it gets to about twice that, we get really worried,” Wessels tells Reuters. “It’s got us all paying attention. We’re not sure if it will escalate or do what Cleveland does, which is to settle down after small explosions.”
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