The latest from the Alaska Volcano Observatory on the status of Mt. Redoubt: "Unrest at Redoubt Volcano continues. Seismic activity remains elevated above background."
Sounds like a broken record, but at least Mt. Redoubt is providing ample warning and has all of Alaska on alert.
Longtime residents surely recall a five-month stretch that began in late 1989 during which the 10,197-foot volcano provided a string of eruptions and a steady outpouring of smoke and ash.
A United Press International article that Dec. 15 featured this initial announcement: "Redoubt Volcano southwest of Anchorage shook with thousands of small earthquakes Thursday, then erupted and shot a cloud of ash seven miles high."
Farther down in the story: "The eruption followed 24 hours of constant warning tremors, which calmed down after the eruption ended, then picked up again.... The ash plume — which shot 35,000 feet above the two-mile-high mountain — was carried toward Anchorage by strong winds... But the ash cloud skirted Anchorage and dusted towns beyond the city."
A day after a second, more violent eruption occurred that Dec. 17, the Associated Press reported: "Haze from the volcano drifted over Anchorage, Alaska's largest city with more than 200,000 people. The debris caused power outages, disrupted air travel and triggered public-health warnings."
But it was Christmas week and the economy was not in shambles. Shoppers, according to the report, filled "the streets and malls over the weekend."
Photo: Mt. Redoubt during an eruption on April 21, 1990, as viewed from Alaska's Kenai Peninsula.
Credit: J. Warren / AVO-USGS Images