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Alaska's Mt. Redoubt volcano erupts a sixth time, sending ash plume 60,000 feet high

March 23, 2009 | 10:20 pm


There's no doubt: Alaska's Mt. Redoubt has lost its temper--again.

The volcano this evening--after a daylong period of relative calm in the wake of a series of explosions beginning late Sunday night--blew its top for a sixth time, sending a plume of ash and steam 60,000 feet skyward.

There's little more information at this point from the Alaska Volcano Observatory. (To read the L.A. Times story on the effects of the initial explosions, click here.)

The accompanying graphic shows the north-northeast direction of ash fall after the initial explosions. That was a relief to residents throughout the state's more populated south-central quadrant.

But if history is a judge, Alaskans are in for a lengthy period of sporadic explosions, and ash fall will be at the mercy of prevailing winds.

The five-month series of 1989-1990 eruptions from Mt. Redoubt had a severe impact on aviation and the oil industry, as well as on residents and businesses on the Kenai Peninsula, 50 miles to the east.

Because of ash fall, schools on the peninsula were closed for long periods and many residents experienced respiratory problems.

After Monday night's explosion, the National Weather Service issued a new ash-flow advisory, suggesting that residents in the Susitna Valley seal windows and doors and protect water supplies.

--Pete Thomas


Graphic courtesy of Alaska Volcano Observatory. Photo shows emissions from the crater on Saturday, before the eruptions began Sunday night. Credit: Cyrus Read/AVO/USGS via Getty Images