Ash from Russian volcano prompts Alaska flight cancellations


Alaska Airlines canceled about two dozen flights in its namesake state Thursday because of an ash cloud from a volcano in Russia, the Seattle-based airline said in a statement.

The ash cloud is from Shiveluch Volcano, the airline said. About 23 flights to, from and within Alaska were canceled as of early Thursday.

“We continue to monitor the ash cloud, and depending on its location, movement and timing, we might need to cancel additional flights,” the statement said. It encouraged travelers to check the status of their flights online.

Shiveluch, one of Kamchatka Peninsula’s most active volcanoes, started erupting early Tuesday, spewing ash more than 300 miles (500 kilometers) northwest. Several Russian villages were covered in grey volcanic dust in the largest fallout in nearly 60 years.

On Wednesday, the eruption sent an ash cloud more than 6 miles (10 kilometers) into the air. The volcano is located about 1,772 miles (2,772 kilometers) east of Anchorage.

Volcanic ash is angular and sharp and has been used as an industrial abrasive. The powdered rock can cause a jet engine to shut down.

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