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Alaskan Volcano Erupts for First Time in 20 Years

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Augustine volcano i

This is the first major eruption of the Augustine volcano since 1986. Game McGimsey/Courtesy U.S. Geological Survey hide caption

toggle caption Game McGimsey/Courtesy U.S. Geological Survey
Augustine volcano

This is the first major eruption of the Augustine volcano since 1986.

Game McGimsey/Courtesy U.S. Geological Survey
Alaska map showing the Augustine volcano. i

A map projects the path of ash fallout from the Augustine volcano. USGS hide caption

toggle caption USGS
Alaska map showing the Augustine volcano.

A map projects the path of ash fallout from the Augustine volcano.

USGS

Alaska's Augustine volcano has erupted for the first time in two decades. Local volcanologists are pleased their computer models predicted the event accurately, but as Alaska Public Radio's Annie Feidt reports, they anticipate that the big blast is yet to come.

There's a slight chance each eruption could cause a tsunami, but the primary concern is for air traffic. In 1989, an ash cloud from another Alaskan volcano disabled all four engines of a fully loaded 747 en route to Anchorage. The plane plummeted thousands of feet before the pilots were able to gain control and land safely.

Scientists are also worried about possible ash fall in communities across the most populated parts of Alaska. Ash fall can cause respiratory problems.

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