One Major US Volcano Showing Signs Of Eruption
The Tanaga Volcano in Alaska is showing signs of erupting following a series of 2.0 and 3.0 magnitude earthquakes.
Scientists at the Volcano Observatory in Alaska have warned of an eruption in the coming days. The alert was prompted by a series of tremors beneath Tanaga Volcano earlier this week. “Earthquake activity began to increase at about 1:30 pm AKST,” the agency said via Fox News on March 9th. A few hours later, vibrations were recorded every three minutes.
The magnitude of each mini-earthquake was between 2.0 and 3.0 on the Richter scale. They were initially located at shallow depths beneath the volcano summit. According to Research Geophysicist John Power, that signifies unrest at the volcano. However, it’s impossible to predict if this pattern will lead to a full-scale eruption.
Still, scientists are concerned enough to increase the warning level. “It’s anybody’s guess as to where this particular round of earthquake activity may end up,” Power told the Associated Press. The Tanaga Volcano exists on an uninhabited island in Western Aleutians. Its precise location is 1,250 miles southwest of Anchorage.
Fortunately, there are no communities nearby. However, just 65 miles away is a town called Adak, which 170 residents call home. Although it’s located on a separate island, the area could still experience ash falls. If the volcano did erupt, aircraft would be most at risk as the Aleutians are below the routes taken by planes traveling between North America and Asia.
While it might not seem too risky, volcano ash is sharp and angular, which can cause aircraft engines to cease. Previous eruptions in the area resulted in ash clouds and viscous lava. The molten liquid moved very slowly away from the mountain, similar to the 1980 volcanic event at Mount St. Helens in Washington state.
“It’s very different than what you would see in Hawaii, Kilauea or Mauna Loa, where you see these beautiful red rivers of lava flowing down the side of the volcano,” Power told Associated Press. The Tanaga Volcano is part of a three-alp complex on the island. It is the tallest of the three at 5,925 feet and is located next to a 4,443-foot volcano called Sajaka.
To the east of Tanaga is Takawangha, which is a 4,75-foot volcano. But according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory, it’s mostly covered in ice. The last time Tanaga erupted was in 1914. It previously erupted in the late 1700s and 1829. There are no known eruptions of Takawangha or Sajaka. Scientists at the observatory continue to closely monitor the situation.
According to the Smithsonian, there were 54 confirmed volcanic eruptions in 2023 so far. The seismic activity was reported at 52 different locations, of which five were new eruptions that began during the year. In cases where a stop date was recorded with the word “continuing,” it indicates that the eruption was ongoing as of the indicated date.
In Europe, a volcano on Italy’s Stromboli Island erupted in 2022, releasing a massive volume of smoke in the air and lava into the sea, the BBC reported at the time. Stromboli, which is one of the most active volcanoes in the world, has erupted regularly since 1932.