Redcat volcano erupts in ‘biggest eruption’ in US history
Redcat Volcano in western Alaska has erupted in a “biggest” eruption in US national history, according to state officials.
The Alaskan Volcano Observatory says the eruption on Monday was “significant enough” to cause damage to buildings and damage to infrastructure.
Bill Walker said the eruption was felt as far away as Denver, where it hit about 1,000 homes.
A team from the U.S. Geological Survey arrived at the volcano Tuesday morning and sent a team to observe the eruption, which was first noticed by an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV), according to Alaska Gov.
The Alaska Volcano Observatory reported that the volcano was emitting large volumes of gas, which were estimated to be between 7 to 10 times the pressure of air.
The gas is thought to be released when a large column of water, or steam, rises from beneath the volcano.
The column of steam was estimated to reach 3,500 feet (1,600 meters) in elevation, according a USGS news release.
The USGS also said the ash cloud over the volcano could last up to three days.
The ash cloud has been seen for more than 20 minutes.
“The eruption has been significant enough to have a significant effect on the surrounding communities, the national infrastructure, and potentially to pose a significant threat to nearby communities,” Sullivan said in a statement.
“It is important to note that the eruption is not believed to have been caused by natural phenomena, but rather a controlled event.”
The US Geological Survey reported the eruption happened on the eastern flank of the volcano, just west of the town of Whitehorse.
It also noted that there were no other active eruptions.
The volcano is a small caldera of water and rocks that rises about 1.5 miles (2 kilometers) above the sea.
The lake was formed about 4 million years ago.
Alaskans have reported a lot of volcanoes in the state, including two that have been active in the last year.
There were at least 15 reported eruptions last year, including one in June that was larger than any in Alaska history.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.