Anchorage Airport closed as volcanic ash falls


Ash from Alaska's Mount Redoubt volcano has been falling, causing flight cancelations.
The Anchorage, Alaska, airport remained closed Sunday morning after an erupting volcano shot ash some 45,000 feet in the air on Saturday, officials said.

Ash from Mount Redoubt fell around the city — Alaska’s largest — resulting in the closure of Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, the Federal Aviation Administration said. Only a trace amount of the ash reached the airport grounds, airport spokesman Jeremy Lindseth said, but it was enough to affect operations. He said he did not know how many flights were canceled or rerouted as a result of the ash, and did not know when the airport would reopen. The eruption occurred at about 1:30 p.m. (5:30 p.m. ET) Saturday, the U.S. Geological Survey told CNN. The volcano erupted four times on Friday, at times shooting ash 51,000 feet into the air. The eruptions are the latest in a series that began March 22.

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The Alaska Volcano Observatory has set the alert level at its highest possible designation — red — indicating that an eruption is under way or imminent and that the eruption will produce a “significant emission of volcanic ash into the atmosphere.” Friday’s volcano activity prompted Alaska Airlines to limit flights to and from Anchorage, according to the airline’s Web site. The airline canceled all its Thursday flights to and from Anchorage after an eruption earlier in the day sent an ash cloud 65,000 feet high.

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