Alaska:Cleveland Volcano rocked by explosion

THE ALEUTIANS -- An explosion rattled an Aleutian volcano Friday for the second time in two days and cloudy weather again prevented clear views of any ash emission, researchers said.

A brief explosion Wednesday night rocked Cleveland Volcano, 940 miles southwest of Anchorage on Chuginadak Island, and likely produced some airborne ash, a volcanologist said. The blast may have also removed or partially removed a lava dome growing in the volcano's summit crater.

Instruments 60 and 90 miles away registered another short explosion at Cleveland on Friday, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory. Satellites have not detected a high-level ash cloud, one that could pose a threat to trans-oceanic air travel, the observatory says.

As Cleveland remained restless, researchers kept an eye on a volcano closer to Anchorage: Iliamna Volcano, which hasn't erupted for 500 to 1,000 years.

The Alaska Volcano Observatory raised its alert level for Iliamna on Friday due to increased seismic activity over recent months. A similar swarm of small earthquakes at the volcano, 140 miles from Anchorage, occurred in 1996 and 1997, the observatory says.

Seismographs showed the heightened activity continued Saturday.

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