Mon, Mar 23, 2009
Mt. Redoubt Blows Its Top For First Time In 20 Years
After months of tremors and venting steam, Alaska's Mount
Redoubt unleashed its fury in the wee hours of Monday morning,
spewing ash as high as 60,000 feet into the air in the course of
five separate eruptions.
The volcano lies about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage,
though so far winds have spared the city from the brunt of any ash
fall. What has caused concern, however, is the detrimental effects
of the highly-abrasive ash on air travel in the region.
So far, 19 commercial flights have been cancelled due to the
eruption, geologist Chris Waythomas told The Associated Press. More
civilian flights are likely to be affected; officials with the US
Air Force have also moved 60 planes to Elmendorf AFB south of
Waythomas added this is the first eruption from the 10,200-foot
volcano since 1989... and appears likely to follow the same pattern
as it did then, erupting several times over the course of four
"It looks very similar to 1989-90," Waythomas said. "We
anticipate activity will go on for some days, weeks, and maybe
The first recorded eruption of Mt. Redoubt occurred in 1902. The
next one came 64 years later... but since then, eruptions have
settled into a roughly 20-year pattern.
Ash spewed upward by the initial December 1989 eruption led to a
four-engine flameout aboard a KLM Boeing 747 overflying the area.
The flight crew was able to restart the engines and make an
emergency landing in Anchorage, though the plane needed $80 million
in engine repairs afterward.
Geologists first warned of an impending eruption from Redoubt in
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