Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Okmok Volcano Eruption

Last Saturday around noon Okmok Volcano starting erupting on Umnak Island, the next island west on the Aleutians. Okmok is about 60 miles from Dutch Harbor - this picture was taken by Kelly Reeves, a flight attendant for Alaska Airlines, on Sunday.

The best place for updates on this and any other volcanic eruption in Alaska is the Alaska Volcano Observatory website. Volcanoes are a way of life out here, both on the island and back in Anchorage and the Kenai Peninsula with Augustine, Illiamna, Redoubt and Spur Volcanoes.

Airlines are very, very cautious about flying with volcanic ash in the air, for very good reasons. Flights have been cancelled to Dutch Harbor since Saturday so the mail, freight and passenger traffic are all backed up and I'm on pins and needles hoping things clear up in time for my sister to fly in on Friday. They did resume flying today with extra flights to deal with some of the backlog.

You can also read about the eruption on the KIAL website and the Anchorage Daily News.


Bloviating Zeppelin said...

Hey Alaska Steve, just caught your blog and enjoy it very much. I've tons of questions but you'll likely get to them all in time. Of course, I got here by way of a Googling of Deadliest Catch but, in my opinion, that show has done MUCH to put Alaska and Alaskan fishing on the map and enabling people to realize how important are our Alaskan fisheries, and how tough it is to make a living doing so.

In any event, great blog, excellent photos, keep it up.


Lothian said...

Great picture, it is amazing how something so destructive can be so beautiful. Does anyone live on that island?

AlaskaSteve said...

BZ, right back at ya, your blog is well written and to the point. The Alaska pollock fishery is the last large sustainable fishery left in the world and having grown up on the East coast and seen what happened to the Georges Banks I feel better about being out here with my finger on the pulse of the Bering - I'm hoping mankind can learn a lesson and do this one right. Cheers, steve

AlaskaSteve said...

Lothian, there are people living on that island and there is actually a cattle ranch right at the base of the volcano - all the ranch hands had to be evacuated. Luckily for the rest of the island the prevailing wind is west to east, carrying the dust away from Nikolski and towards Dutch.

Lothian said...

Hopefully no one got hurt.