Alaska volcano spews ash 20,000 feet
Lava flows off the Pavlof volcano earlier this week.
May 15th, 2013
09:33 PM ET

Alaska volcano spews ash 20,000 feet

An Alaska volcano exhibiting "elevated seismic activity" has spewed ash clouds skyward - as high as 20,000 feet above sea level - an observatory reported Wednesday.

As was the case a day earlier, the Pavlof Volcano was on "watch" status on Wednesday because of heightened activity, and it was also under an orange code that relates to how its rumblings might affect planes flying over its summit. Both these alert levels are the second most serious out of four options, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

The same alert levels also continue to apply Wednesday to the Cleveland Volcano, which like Pavlof is in the Aleutian Island range southwest of mainland Alaska. Lava was reported flowing Tuesday at Pavlof and Cleveland.

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Remote Alaska volcano might erupt soon, experts say
This aerial photograph from August 2011 shows the Cleveland Volcano's summit crater.
September 7th, 2011
11:26 AM ET

Remote Alaska volcano might erupt soon, experts say

Alaska's Cleveland Volcano could soon be leaking from its flanks if the lava inside continues to build up, officials at the Alaska Volcano Observatory reported.

The observatory reported that the volcano's lava dome was 262 feet in diameter on August 30 and has now expanded to 394 feet.

"The presence of the lava dome increases the possibility of an explosive eruption, but does not necessarily indicate that one will occur," the observatory said. "Short-lived explosions could produce an ash cloud that exceeds 20,000 ft above sea level."

The observatory said it did not expect air travel problems if the volcano erupted.

Because "the small lava dome in the summit crater has resumed growth and now fills the floor of the crater," the observatory is raising its alert level.

The remote volcano is in the Aleutian Islands, about 940 miles southwest of Anchorage.

Because the volcano is in such a remote area, the observatory webcam feed has experienced technical difficulties. But you can still check the webcam here.

Lava closes part of national park as Kilauea crater collapses
Kilauea's Puu Oo crater collapsed more than 250 feet Wednesday.
August 5th, 2011
12:38 PM ET

Lava closes part of national park as Kilauea crater collapses

The lava-filled crater in Hawaii's Kilauea volcano collapsed more than 250 feet Wednesday, according to the Hawaii Volcano Observatory.

The Puu Oo crater, which holds a lake of lava inside the cone at Kilauea's summit, last collapsed in March. Wednesday's collapse created a lava flow that split into two directions and closed a portion of Hawaii Volcanoes National Park. It did not affect any areas outside the park's boundaries.

Click here to see a collection of footage, photos and time-lapse video of the lava-spewing crater

According to an update from the Hawaii Volcano Observatory on Thursday night, "The crater rim remained extremely unstable, with continued collapses along the crater walls sending blocks of rock onto the crater floor."

Kilauea has been erupting continually since 1983. Hawaii's volcanoes erupt effusively, meaning runny lava bubbles up and flows out, as opposed to building up pressure and exploding violently.

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On the Radar: Afghanistan, Huntsman, Greece, summer
A U.S. soldier takes up a position near schoolchildren Tuesday in Afghanistan's Khost province.
June 21st, 2011
08:47 AM ET

On the Radar: Afghanistan, Huntsman, Greece, summer

Afghanistan drawdown President Barack Obama will announce Wednesday how many U.S. troops he'll bring home from Afghanistan when the drawdown begins next month. Obama is expected to announce the approval of a plan that would result in 30,000 U.S. "surge" forces being withdrawn by the end of 2012, an administration official told CNN. There are about 100,000 U.S. troops serving in Afghanistan, including the so-called surge ordered in 2009 in a bid to control violence there.

Huntsman as GOP candidate Former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman is set to announce Tuesday his candidacy for the Republican presidential nomination. He's a motorcycle-riding Mormon who speaks fluent Mandarin, a soft-spoken father of seven with eclectic political connections. He was ambassador to China for President Barack Obama, whom he once described as a remarkable leader. That could make the primary season difficult for him.

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Puyehue volcano erupts in Chile
June 9th, 2011
01:29 PM ET

Puyehue's volcanic ash cloud grounds flights out of Argentine capital

Three airlines have canceled flights out of two airports in Argentina's capital city because of the ash cloud from the Puyehue volcano in Chile, according to media reports.

Aerolíneas Argentinas, LAN and Austral canceled flights from Buenos Aires' Jorge Newbery Metropolitan (aka Aeroparque) and Ezeiza International airports after the ash cloud arrived in the city, and Spain's Iberia airline canceled three flights from Madrid to the Argentine capital, the Buenos Aires Herald reported. The latter flights were rerouted to Santiago, Chile.

The airlines had already canceled a string of morning flights but later called off flights until 5 p.m. with a warning more could follow, depending how the situation unfolds, the newspaper reported.

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On the Radar: Volcanic ash spreads; new tornado threat; Netanyahu address
Ash billows from the Grimsvotn volcano in Iceland on Tuesday in an image from a NASA satellite.
May 24th, 2011
05:45 AM ET

On the Radar: Volcanic ash spreads; new tornado threat; Netanyahu address

Volcanic ash: Volcanic ash from an Icelandic eruption is expected to reach London's Heathrow airport - the world's busiest international air travel hub - around lunchtime on Tuesday, Europe's air traffic control organization said.

Concentration of ash is expected to be low and it's not yet clear if Heathrow flights will be canceled.

The ash cloud is forecast to cover all of British airspace by 1 a.m. Wednesday morning, Britain's weather agency, the Met Office, said Tuesday.

Ash will be densest over Scotland, Northern Ireland and northern England, the Met Office said. Heathrow is in the south.

Joplin tornado: As residents in hard-hit Joplin, Missouri, try to recover from one of the deadliest U.S. tornadoes on record, the National Weather Service warns the danger might not be over.

The weather service warns there was a 45% chance of another tornado outbreak – with the peak time between 4 p.m. and midnight Tuesday – over a wide swath, including parts of Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Nebraska and Missouri, including Joplin.

Netanyahu speech:Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will lay out his vision of a settlement with the Palestinians in a speech to Congress Tuesday morning.

His speech follows an appearance Monday night where he told the main U.S. Jewish lobby that the Israeli-Palestinian conflict persists because the Palestinians "refuse to end it."

In his remarks to the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, Netanyahu said Israel wants peace, "because we know the pain of terror and we know the agony of war."

But, he added, "this conflict has raged for a nearly a century because the Palestinians refuse to end it. They refuse to accept the Jewish state."

He also repeated his argument that Israel's pre-1967 borders were "indefensible."

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Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days
May 22nd, 2011
07:26 PM ET

Ahead of the curve: The next 7 days

Talk show maven Oprah Winfrey’s syndicated show comes to an end this week after 25 years. Here is a look at this and other stories that CNN plans to follow:

Fans, stars turn out for Oprah Winfrey's big goodbye

After a quarter-century that has seen Oprah Winfrey become a pop culture icon, the Queen of Talk has decided to walk away on her OWN terms, as in devote herself full-time to her Oprah Winfrey Network.

But first there's a two-day sendoff - taped last week - that will be broadcast Monday and Tuesday and promises a solar system of stars, surprises, and of course, ratings gold. On Wednesday, the final "Oprah Winfrey Show" will air. Winfrey is reportedly producing the show herself and is keeping her plans secret.

Louisiana, Mississippi officials wait on the water

Louisiana officials are expected to reassess the need for a mandatory evacuation Monday for Butte La Rose in the face of forecasts that the Atchafalaya River will crest just below flood stage.

Many residents living in a swath of Louisiana's Atchafalaya Basin have left their homes in anticipation of high water after officials opened floodgates to relieve the state’s pumps and levee systems.

Several Mississippi communities have reported floodwaters while downriver in Louisiana, many residents are waiting and wondering  if the alarm was warranted.

Malaysians dig out after landslides

Rescue workers were expected to continue looking for children reported missing following two landslides that buried a Malaysian orphanage.

At least 16 people were killed and nine others injured in the landslides that were triggered by heavy rains, the nation's official news agency reported Sunday.

Rescue workers scoured the area for up to two dozen children believed buried in and around the orphanage near Hulu Langat, southeast of the capital city of Kuala Lumpur, the Bernama news agency said.

The prime minister, who was attending meetings in the United States, said the government would rebuild the orphanage and provide payments to the victims.

Will the volcanic ash cloud in Iceland grow?

Officials in Iceland were expected to monitor the ash cloud that has formed after the Grimsvotn volcano under the Vatnajokull glacier erupted over the weekend.

The eruption forced flight cancellations and the closure of airspace over the country's four international airports, Keflavik International Airport spokeswoman Hjordis Gudmunsdottir said.

Officials will reassess the situation at midnight Sunday (8 p.m. EDT), she said.

Weather patterns this weekend have been very different from the northerly winds that swept through the region after last year's eruption of the volcano Eyjafjallajokull, which spewed an ash cloud that disrupted air travel in Europe.

But the movement of an ash cloud is difficult to predict, a spokeswoman for the official United Kingdom weather agency said.

Ash could reach the United Kingdom and northern continental Europe Wednesday, she said.

Netanyahu set to address AIPAC in Washington

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is expected Monday to address the main American-Israeli advocacy group, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC) in Washington.

Netanyahu's visit comes after President Barack Obama on Sunday spoke to the U.S. Jewish lobby, softening his remarks after he said last week that Israel-Palestinian negotiations should start from pre-1967 borders.

Originally saying that borders based on Obama's remarks would be "indefensible," Netanyahu struck a conciliatory tone Sunday.

"I share the president's will to promote peace, and I value his current and past efforts to achieve this goal," Netanyahu said in a statement.

"I am determined to act together with President Obama in order to find ways to resume the negotiations for peace," Netanyahu's statement said. "Peace is a vital need for all of us."

'O'bama' heads to Europe, to the sound of Irish ayes

In search of relatives, President Barack Obama is expected to visit Ireland this week, where he may see children sporting "O'Bama" T-shirts and waving American flags.

"It was brought to my attention last year that my great-great-great-grandfather on my mother's side hailed from a small village in County Offaly," he said on the campaign trail in 2008.

To many of the residents in one small village, the presidential visit is a homecoming of sorts,  a gesture of solidarity and kinsmanship in troubled times.

Grimsvotn volcano erupts in Iceland
May 21st, 2011
05:36 PM ET

Grimsvotn volcano erupts in Iceland

[Update: 6:57 p.m ET]

The Grimsvotn volcano under the Vatnajokull glacier in Iceland was erupting Saturday, according to the Icelandic Meteorological Office.

A dark cloud of smoke was rising from the glacier, and scientists were flying over the scene to evaluate the event, according to CNN affiliate TV2 Iceland.

The last eruption of the volcano was in 2004, TV2 Iceland reported.

Last year, another Icelandic eruption, of the volcano Eyjafjallajokull, attracted worldwide attention after its ash cloud disrupted air travel across Europe.

Sitrun Kapitola, manager of the Islandia Hotel Nupar, which is close to Saturday's eruption, said she could see a cloud of smoke over the mountains, and ash was falling around the hotel.

Police were telling her and others that there was no need to evacuate and there was nothing to fear, Kapitola said.

"We see it very well," she said.

"It's nothing compared to the other one," she added, referring to last year's dramatic eruption of the Eyjafjallajokull.

Tourists at the hotel were excited to see the eruption, watching the events unfold while eating dinner, she said.

"It happens every 10 years," she said. "It mostly produces water."

Grimsvotn is Iceland's most frequently active volcano. In 1783, a 16.7-mile fissure system from the volcano produced the world's largest known historical lava flow over a seven-month period, damaging crops and livestock, according to the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. A resulting famine resulted in the loss of one-fifth of Iceland's population, according to the Smithsonian website.

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Gotta Watch: When volcanoes erupt
Iceland's Eyjafjallajokull volcano blackened the sky for days back in 2010.
May 18th, 2011
12:53 PM ET

Gotta Watch: When volcanoes erupt

In today's Gotta Watch, we're looking at the awesome power of some of the planet's most active volcanoes. From the easy-to-pronounce Mount St. Helens to another whose name you best not try to utter unless you're sitting down.

Mount St. Helens - On May 18, 1980, Mount St. Helens erupted, becoming the most destructive volcano in United States history. An earthquake and subsequent landslide triggered a series of eruptions and a massive ash cloud. The blast was reportedly so powerful it was felt as far away as Canada. The eruption claimed the lives of 57 people and injured many more.

Eyjafjallajokull - Often refered to simply as "the Icelandic volcano" due to its tongue twister of a name, Eyjafjallajokull wreaked havoc for international travelers for the better part of a week back in 2010. At its peak, the crisis affected 1.2 million passengers a day and 29 percent of all global aviation, according to the International Air Transport Association, becoming the worst disruption of air traffic since the September 11 terrorist attacks back in 2001.

Merapi - The Merapi volcano's most recent eruption began on October 26, 2010. It killed hundreds of people and displaced more than 200,000. The Indonesian volcano's recent eruptions released about 140 million cubic meters of magma, the National Agency for Disaster Management said.

Mount Vesuvius - Just short of 2,000 years ago, the city of Pompeii was wiped off the map by a historic eruption that buried an entire city in ash. Pompeii is now a major tourist attraction and is considered one of Italy's most important archaeological sites. 

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Study: Yellowstone volcano much larger than believed
This new image shows Yellowstone's volcanic plume reaching about 400 miles from east to west.
April 13th, 2011
09:35 AM ET

Study: Yellowstone volcano much larger than believed

A new kind of image suggests the giant volcanic plume lying under Yellowstone National Park is even bigger than previously thought.

University of Utah geophysicists used the electrical conductivity of the huge tongue of hot and partly molten rock to create an image. That image suggests the plume is even bigger than it appears in earlier images made with seismic waves.

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Volcano-sparked fire threatens Hawaii wildlife area
A lava flow from the Kilauea Volcano is measured at more than 6.5 feet high on March 14.
March 24th, 2011
12:52 PM ET

Volcano-sparked fire threatens Hawaii wildlife area

A fire ignited by lava from the Kilauea Volcano on Hawaii's Big Island is threatening what a National Park Service spokesman calls "a living laboratory of Hawaiian plants and animals," the Star-Advertiser in Honolulu reports.

The fire, which began on March 5, has burned 100 acres of a 2,750-acre special ecological area in a lowland rain forest, according to the Park Service.

Among the creatures in the area are happy face spiders, carnivorous caterpillars and the endangered Hawaiian bat, the newspaper said, citing Park Service fire information spokesman Gary Wuchner.

"It best represents what Hawaii was, and is a seed source for plants and refuge for birds," Hawaii Volcanoes National Park spokeswoman Mardi Lane told the Star-Advertiser.

Forty Park Service firefighters from Hawaii and western mainland states are battling the fire, according to the report.

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November 9th, 2010
10:55 AM ET

Obama to cut short Indonesian trip due to volcanic ash

U.S. President Barack Obama is officially shortening his visit to Indonesia because of fears that volcanic ash spewing from Mount Merapi could have grounded Air Force One, according to administration officials.

But Obama had enough time in Jakarta, the Indonesian capital, Tuesday to fondly glimpse parts of the Asian land where he lived for part of his boyhood.

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November 4th, 2010
09:08 PM ET

Indonesia volcano erupts again, more deaths reported

Hospital officials confirm 16 dead and 55 with severe burns from the most recent eruption by Indonesia's Mount Merapi volcano Friday morning.

Read the full story on CNN.com.

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October 15th, 2010
04:31 PM ET

Indian Ocean volcano erupts for 2nd time this year

Lava flows from the Piton de la Fournaise volcano on Reunion Island on Friday.

One of the world's most active volcanoes is at it again.

The Piton de la Fournaise volcano on Reunion Island in the western Indian Ocean erupted Thursday evening after several days of increased seismic activity, the island's government said.

The eruption is contained to one of the volcano's calderas, and the lava flow is stable, but public access to the volcano - a main tourist attraction - will be restricted, the local government said in a statement.

The volcano is about 30 miles southeast of the island's capital, Saint Denis. No one was reported to be in danger; a local newspaper, the Journal de l'Ile de la Reunion, reported that the last eruption happened over 10 days in January.

More than 150 eruptions of the volcano have recorded since the 17th century, according to the Smithsonian's Global Volcanism Program.

Reunion, a department of France, is home to about 784,000 people and lies more than 400 miles east of Madagascar.

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