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Archive for Saturday, January 14, 2006

Volcano eruptions close schools, divert planes

January 14, 2006

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— A volcano on an uninhabited island 180 miles from Anchorage erupted four times Friday, sending plumes of ash more than six miles into the sky.

Airplanes were warned to keep at least five miles away from 4,134-foot Augustine Volcano.

The National Weather Service warned about 16,000 residents of Kenai Peninsula and Kodiak Island to the south about the ash cloud. But the Alaska Volcano Observatory said it did not expect a heavy accumulation of ash.

Some schools on the Kenai Peninsula closed, affecting about 2,500 students.

Ash can pose a health risk - especially for people with respiratory problems - and can damage the engines of vehicles on the ground and aircraft that fly through the plumes.

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