Image for article titled Alaska Airlines Cancels Flights to Anchorage Due to Russian Volcanic Ash

Photo: Alexander Piragis (Getty Images)

Alaska Airlines canceled 28 flights to or from the state of Alaska yesterday after a volcanic ash cloud drifted over western Alaska. The Seattle Times reported that the ash cloud was created by a recent volcanic eruption in the Russian Far East. The precautionary measure was taken to prevent powdered volcanic rock from damaging an airliner’s jet engines and potentially causing a failure.

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Shiveluch, a volcano on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula, erupted early Tuesday morning. The eruption shot ash almost 13 miles into the sky. The peninsula in the Russian Far East on the Bering Sea is home to 29 active volcanos. Smithsonian Magazine reported that the plume from Shiveluch drifted westward and showered surrounding communities in three inches of ash. The ash cloud slowly floated almost 1,800 miles east over the ocean toward Anchorage.

Regarding the ash cloud, the Alaska Volcano Observatory said in a statement:

“Although this cloud poses a potential hazard to aviation and has disrupted some flights, no ashfall is expected on Alaska communities. Whenever ashfall is expected in Alaska, the Alaska Volcano Observatory works cooperatively with the National Weather Service Anchorage Forecast Office, which issues products to advise the public on the timing and severity of the ashfall.”

Volcano ash blankets town in Russia

Alaska Airlines has warned passengers on upcoming flights to stay aware of the situation as additional flights may have to be canceled. The carrier said in a statement, “We continue to monitor the ash cloud, and depending on its location, movement and timing, we might need to cancel additional flights.”



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