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Alaska volcano unlikely to produce ‘large event’

SHARE Alaska volcano unlikely to produce ‘large event’

NANWALEK, Alaska — Towering blasts of ash and steam from an uninhabited island volcano in south-central Alaska will likely continue for days or weeks, but scientists say there's little chance of a catastrophic eruption.

"Judging by the past, this volcano tends to put out a series of small eruptions," said Michelle Coombs, a geologist at the U.S. Geological Survey office in Anchorage. "We don't expect it to culminate in a large event."

Six eruptions recorded on Friday and early Saturday from the 4,134-foot Augustine Volcano sent plumes of ash drifting across Cook Inlet into several Kenai Peninsula communities. A pilot reported seeing one plume about 10 miles in the air. The eruptions halted air travel and closed schools Friday.

"A very likely scenario is this kind of activity over the next several days or weeks," Coombs said.