Scientists monitor Alaskan volcano

January 17, 2006

Scientists were closely monitoring Alaska's Augustine Volcano Tuesday and analyzing gas samples taken Monday following last week's eruptions.

The volcano, on an island in Cook Inlet, about 180 miles southwest of Anchorage capped weeks of rumbling with eight "explosive events" last week, sending clouds of ash into the atmosphere and snarling air travel, the Anchorage Daily News reported.

Clouds prevent weekend observations, but scientists have now downgraded the level of volcanic activity from red, which means a volcanic event is imminent, to orange, warning it is "likely, but not certain, that further explosive activity will occur."

Since the early 1800s the 4,134-foot high volcano has erupted six times: 1812, 1833, 1935, 1964, 1965 and 1986, the newspaper said.

Copyright 2006 by United Press International

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