Ash cloud from Cleveland volcano spreading

Posted: Tuesday, March 13, 2001

ANCHORAGE (AP) -- An ash cloud from the weekend eruption of the Mount Cleveland volcano continued to move slowly Monday, spreading as much as 200 miles at 25,000 feet.

The 5,675-foot mountain, on the western half of Chuginadak Island in the Aleutian chain, erupted explosively Sunday morning, spouting ash for three hours. Steve McNutt, a volcano seismologist with the Alaska Volcano Observatory, said the eruption caused a slight signal on seismic monitors on Makushin Volcano, on Unalaska Island about 140 miles northeast.

Chuginadak Island is uninhabited, but the volcano's ash cloud traveled far enough northeast Monday to pass over Dutch Harbor, McNutt said. When Mount Cleveland last erupted Feb. 19, it sprinkled ash on the village of Nikolski 50 miles east of the volcano and sent an ash plume to 35,000 feet.

In the February eruption, 38 heavy jet aircraft were diverted from the area, according to McNutt. He said Sunday's eruption, though smaller, could also affect air routes.

Since 1893, Cleveland has erupted a dozen times.

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