Thar she blows!
Mount Redoubt blew its lid last night and continues to erupt today, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO), which has logged at five eruptions so far. The first was at 10:38 last night Alaska time (2:38 a.m. EDT); the next one occurred 24 minutes later followed by three more eruptions this morning at 12:14, 1:39 and 4:37.
Plumes from the volcano, which is about 103 miles southwest of Anchorage, rose 50,000 feet into the air, according to the Associated Press. The National Weather Service issued an ashfall advisory through noon today, recommending that area residents seal their windows and doors to prevent ash from getting indoors.
AVO officials also warned of potential mud flows and flooding from melting glaciers, the Anchorage Daily News reported.
The observatory raised the volcanos status to code red yesterday, which means an eruption is imminent or underway. It had raised its status from yellow (an advisory indicating elevated unrest) to orange (a watch or warning status suggesting heightened unrest), a week ago after logging increased seismic activity.
AVO's John Powers told the Anchorage Daily News that the eruptions could persist for a while, noting that in 1989 and 1990 the volcano remained active for five months.
Top vent in Mount Redoubt suummit crater, March 21, 2009/Cyrus Read, AVO/USGS