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It's Unusual for Three Volcanoes to Erupt At Once

Alaska's Aleutian Islands are part of the Ring of Fire around the Pacific Ocean
By Liz MacGahan,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 15, 2021 3:40 PM CDT
Three Volcanoes Erupting At Once in Alaska Islands
In this webcam image provided by the Alaska Volcano Observatory, is the Pavlof Volcano in a state of eruption with episodic low-level ash emissions on Thursday, Aug. 5, 2021. Three remote Alaska volcanos are each in a state of eruption, one producing lava and the other two blowing steam and ash.   (Alaska Volcano Observatory via AP)

(Newser) – Alaska’s Aleutian Islands are part of the Ring of Fire, a seismically active belt around the Pacific Ocean. The subduction zones in that belt are home to most of Earth’s active volcanoes, so it’s not exactly common for three volcanoes to erupt at a time in Alaska, but, as one geologist told NBC News, “it does happen.” That geologist, Matthew Loewen of Alaska Volcano Observatory said so far it’s not bad out there, and the ash isn’t disrupting air travel. Great Sitkin, Pavlof, and Semisopochnoi volcanoes are erupting.

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Another, Cleveland, shows signs of unrest, Smithsonian Magazine reports. Great Sitkin Island has two small villages. Pavlof is near a tiny city. Semisopochnoi is on an uninhabited island. Geologists are keeping an eye on all of the activity, but so far aren’t predicting danger to those communities. Semisopochnoi recently shot ash 10,000 feet into the air, Pavlof is emitting an ash cloud, and lava has been observed at Great Sitkin, the AP reports. (Read more volcanoes stories.)

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