ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Alaska Volcano Observatory said Friday afternoon that the eruption of a slowly growing lava dome at Cleveland Volcano in the Aleutian Islands is continuing as it has since it began Tuesday night.
Officials on an August 8 National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration flyover photographed a small, dark-colored dome centered at the bottom of the summit crater, according to a report on Friday.
In the last clear satellite view of the summit on August 9, the lava dome was about 60 meters (197 feet) in diameter. The dome at the summit has been expanding in diameter over the last several weeks.
The aviation threat level remained color-coded as orange with an eruption watch in effect.
The danger volcanic ash clouds pose to aircraft was highlighted by the Dec. 15, 1989 experience of KLM Flight 867, which inadvertently flew into an ash cloud from a recent eruption of Mount Redoubt. The ash stalled all four of the Boeing 747’s engines and the plane -- along with its 231 passengers -- fell more than two miles before the engines could be restarted for an emergency landing. The aircraft ultimately required $80 million in repairs, including the replacement of the engines.