Alert level raised for Alaska volcano after small eruption
An ash cloud rises above Alaska's Cleveland Volcano on Tuesday. The image was taken 45 miles from the volcano.
June 20th, 2012
08:18 PM ET

Alert level raised for Alaska volcano after small eruption

Scientists have raised an aviation alert level around a remote Alaskan volcano after a small eruption produced an ash cloud several miles high.

Cleveland Volcano, on the Aleutian Islands southwest of mainland Alaska, erupted briefly Tuesday afternoon, creating an ash cloud at an estimated height of 23,000 feet above sea level, said Steve McNutt, a volcano seismologist at the Alaska Volcano Observatory and the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

The observatory on Tuesday raised its color-coded alert for aviators to orange, the second most serious of four levels, and warned on its website that "additional sudden explosions of blocks and ash are possible with little or no warning."

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Filed under: Air travel • Alaska • Travel • Volcano
Alaskan volcano could erupt, disrupt international air travel
A true-color satellite image of Cleveland Volcano collected by the Worldview-2 sensor on October 7, 2011.
February 1st, 2012
04:30 AM ET

Alaskan volcano could erupt, disrupt international air travel

Officials are monitoring a remote Alaska volcano that could launch an ash cloud, potentially threatening intercontinental flights.

"Eruptive activity" of Cleveland Volcano was detected in satellite data, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

The volcano, also known as Mount Cleveland, is on the Aleutian Islands, southwest of mainland Alaska.

Steve McNutt, a scientist at the University of Alaska Fairbanks, said 90% of air freight from Asia to Europe and North America flies over Alaska air space, and hundreds of flights - including more than 20,000 passengers - fly through Anchorage's air space daily.

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January 23rd, 2012
06:11 AM ET

4.7-quake strikes Hawaii's Big Island

A 4.7-magnitude earthquake rocked Hawaii's Big Island Sunday afternoon, the U.S. Geological Survey reports.

The quake, centered 26 miles south of Hilo at a depth of five miles, hit at 4:36 p.m., according to the USGS.

It was followed by about a dozen aftershocks, the biggest of which had a magnitude of 3.1, USGS data shows.

The quakes caused two small collapses in a lava delta from the Kilauea volcanic eruption, bigislandvideonews.com reported, citing a USGS press release.

No other damage was reported.

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Eruption creates new island in Red Sea
December 29th, 2011
02:49 PM ET

Eruption creates new island in Red Sea

The Red Sea appears to have a tiny new island, courtesy of an underwater eruption.

The island - essentially lava that cooled after breaking through the water's surface - began forming this month between Yemen and Eritrea among the Zubair archipelago, a group of small islands that come from a submarine shield volcano, according to NASA and the Smithsonian Institution’s Global Volcanism Program.

NASA’s Earth-Observing-1 satellite captured an image (above) showing the new mass with a plume - perhaps volcanic ash and water vapor - rising from it on December 23, NASA’s Earth Observatory website says. The island appeared to be less than one-third of a mile in diameter, according to the Global Volcanism Program.

The image came four days after local news reports said fishermen saw an eruption in the sea, with lava rising up to 90 feet in the air, according to NASA.

The shield volcano from which the Zubair islands stem (the largest of which is 5 kilometers long) last erupted in the 19th century, according to the Global Volcanism Program.

Wordwide, new islands emerge from volcanic eruptions about once every few years, and not all of them survive beyond three years, because waves can break them apart, GVP volcanologist Rick Wunderman said Thursday. It's not clear whether the new Red Sea island will last, but the material that emerges from the Red Sea typically is more structurally sound than other areas, Wunderman said.

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Iceland volcano may erupt soon, scientists say
Iceland's Hekla volcano, pictured in 2006, has erupted four times since 1970. The last eruption was in February 2000.
July 6th, 2011
10:55 AM ET

Iceland volcano may erupt soon, scientists say

An eruption of Hekla, one of Iceland's most famous volcanoes, may be imminent, scientists in the island nation say.

Pall Einarsson, a geophysics professor at the University of Iceland, told Iceland Review that sensors around the volcano have shown unusual movements in the past few days.

While those sensors are new and the data they provide cannot be seen as conclusive proof that an eruption is coming, Einarsson told Agence-France Presse that "the volcano is ready to erupt."

"The mountain has been slowly expanding in the last few years because of magma buildup," AFP quotes Einarsson as saying.

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On the Radar: Afghanistan speech, U.S. role in Libya, flooding, fires, Anthony trial
President Barack Obama plans to withdraw 30,000 troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2012, an administration official says.
June 22nd, 2011
08:27 AM ET

On the Radar: Afghanistan speech, U.S. role in Libya, flooding, fires, Anthony trial

Afghan troop withdrawal - President Barack Obama will deliver a highly anticipated speech on the U.S. troop drawdown in Afghanistan at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday. He is expected to announce that 30,000 U.S. "surge" forces will be fully withdrawn from Afghanistan by the end of 2012, an administration official said. Obama has been mulling how many troops should be withdrawn this summer and by the end of the year. The president is expected to stress the importance of preserving flexibility in force levels on the ground so commanders can adjust as conditions warrant, the official said.

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Puyehue volcano erupts in Chile
June 7th, 2011
10:15 AM ET

Ash from Chilean volcano grounds flights in Argentina

Ash from a volcanic eruption in Chile grounded flights in neighboring Argentina, officials said Tuesday.

Airlines canceled most flights Tuesday at the Ezeiza International Airport in Buenos Aires, an official there said. Airports in several other cities are also affected, according to the state-run Telam news agency.

Smoke and ash shot more than six miles into the the sky when the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano complex in southern Chile first erupted Saturday afternoon. Authorities evacuated about 3,500 people from the area, the state emergency office said.

The Patagonia region in southern Argentina was the most affected by the volcanic ash.

Cities that draw tourists, like Bariloche, San Martin de los Andes and others in the area canceled school and public activities.

Ash piled as high as 30 centimeters (about 1 foot) on highways through Patagonia. Local governments used machinery to clear the roads.

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Puyehue volcano erupts in Chile
June 6th, 2011
02:24 PM ET

Thousands evacuate, ashes spread after Chilean volcano erupts

Parts of southern Chile remained on red alert and schools in some areas of neighboring Argentina were closed Monday after a volcanic eruption coated the countryside with ashes, authorities said.

Smoke and ash shot more than six miles into the the sky when the Puyehue-Cordon Caulle volcano complex in southern Chile first erupted Saturday afternoon. Authorities evacuated about 3,500 people from the area, the state emergency office said.

"I ask all the population (in designated areas) to evacuate as soon as possible, because ... human life could be at risk," said Juan Andres Varas, regional governor of Los Rios, Chile.

In a statement posted on the Los Rios government's website Monday, he said volcanic material and potentially toxic gases were slowly advancing toward the nearby Nilahue Valley.

"Fortunately, the valley doesn't drop abruptly, so we have time to evacuate," he said.

Schools in some cities and rural areas in neighboring Argentina were closed Monday, even as the volcanic activity appeared to have diminished, the state-run Telam news agency said.

iReport: Puyehue volcano eruption

Eastward wind gusts have left a layer of ashes up to 30 centimeters (12 inches) on an Argentinian highway, Telam reported. Ashes had reached the country's Atlantic coast by early Sunday.

By Monday, several centimeters of ashes were beginning to accumulate in areas further north, and authorities told Telam the volcano's impact was difficult to predict.

"We still don't know, because it depends on the wind how it will continue. ... The recommendation to the population is that they stay inside," said Eduardo Munos, municipal civil defense director in Junin de los Andes, Argentina.

Chile is located on the so-called "Ring of Fire," an arc of volcanoes and fault lines circling the Pacific Basin that is prone to frequent earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.

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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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Iceland hopes to reopen airspace after volcanic eruption
Iceland's Grimsvotn erupted on Saturday.
May 23rd, 2011
05:39 AM ET

Iceland hopes to reopen airspace after volcanic eruption

Iceland hopes its main international airport will reopen to air traffic Monday, following a volcanic eruption in the country on Saturday, a spokeswoman told CNN.

Airspace over the country's four international airports was closed on Sunday.

"There are no international flights in or out of Iceland at this time," Keflavik International Airport spokeswoman Hjordis Gudmunsdottir said.

There was "no impact on European or transatlantic flights" after the Grimsvotn volcano's eruption, Europe's umbrella air traffic control association Eurocontrol said.

Ash is expected to reach Scotland on Tuesday and could enter France and Spain on Thursday, Eurocontrol said.

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

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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.

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/us/2011/05/18/vault.mount.st.helen.eruption.usgs"%5D

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.

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2010/04/20/ac.tuchman.raining.ash.cnn"%5D

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.

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2010/11/03/coren.indonesia.volcanoes.cnn"%5D

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. 

[cnn-video url="http://www.cnn.com/video/#/video/world/2011/05/18/vault.vinci.pompeii.volcano.cnn"%5D
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Residents evacuated near Ecuador's Tungurahua Volcano
Here’s the view from Banos, Ecuador, of the Tungurahua volcano in eruption on December 4, 2010.
April 26th, 2011
07:46 PM ET

Residents evacuated near Ecuador's Tungurahua Volcano

Authorities in Ecuador closed schools and evacuated residents in areas near the Tungurahua Volcano on Tuesday after the volcano spewed ashes that fell on homes and farms, state media reported.

Ashes from Tungurahua rose more than 7 kilometers (4 miles) into the air Tuesday, the government news agency said. The glacier-capped, 16,478-foot (5,023-meter) volcano has erupted periodically since 1999.

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Hawaii wary of harmful vog from erupting volcano
Lava and gas pour from a fissure on Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano.
March 9th, 2011
01:39 PM ET

Hawaii wary of harmful vog from erupting volcano

Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano is emitting five times the lava and 25 times the sulfur dioxide gas as before a 1.5-mile-long fissure opened on the mountain over the weekend.

Although the lava, which is sometimes shooting as high as 245 feet, currently poses no threat to humans on Hawaii's Big Island, the sulfur dioxide gas could become a problem, reports CNN affiliate KHON in Honolulu.

Sulfur dioxide and sulfate aerosols that Kilauea is emitting at increased levels are two key ingredients in vog: a volcanic fog that can cause "headaches, breathing difficulties, increased susceptibility to respiratory ailments, watery eyes, and sore throat," according to the governor's office.

KHON reports that the state's current northeast tradewind pattern is keeping the irritating gas from populated areas, but any change in the tradewinds, especially if they diminish or shift to a more southerly pattern, could bring vog's harmful effects into play.

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Crater collapse sends lava spewing from Hawaii volcano
Lava spews into the air along the fissure between the Pu'u 'O'o and Napua craters.
March 7th, 2011
05:47 AM ET

Crater collapse sends lava spewing from Hawaii volcano

Lava from Hawaii's Kilauea Volcano was shooting as high as 80 feet in the air Sunday after the collapse of the floor of the volcano's Pu'u 'O'o crater a day earlier.

Hawaii Volcano Observatory scientists said the floor of the crater dropped 377 feet over almost three hours on Saturday  and a fissure developed between the Pu'u 'O'o and Napau craters on Kilauea.

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