Where: Anchorage, Alaska, USA
March 23, 2009 : The 3,100 metre high Mount Redoubt, an active volcano, erupted six times in 36 hours starting Sunday, March 22, 2009. It threw up an ash plume almost 15 kilometres high into the air. Scientists had begun issuing alerts 48 hours earlier as they were recording 40 to 50 earthquakes every hour during that period.
Residents of Anchorage, Alaska’s biggest town, which is about 150 kilometres west of the volcano, experienced falls of fine ash dust. There was no falling ash, though, as winds blew the ash cloud away from Anchorage. Volanic ash in the region is like rock fragments with jagged edges. It can injure eyes, skin and breathing passages. It can also damage plane and car engines. Residents were advised to stay indoors as much as possible, to avoid driving, and to cover air inlets and all open water supplies.
Past records indicate that the volcano could erupt again in the next few days or weeks. When it last erupted, volcanic activity continued for a four-month period over 1989-90. In one instance, ash flew over 250 km away into the path of a jet plane whose engines failed.