Alaska's Mount Redoubt erupted twice, spewing a more than 12-mile(19-kilometer)-high cloud that could drop ash on Anchorage for the first time since the volcano began erupting on Sunday night.
The Alaska Volcano Observatory on Thursday said the first eruption about 8:30 am shot an ash cloud about 30,000 feet (9,145 meters) in the air, and the second eruption about an hour later sent ash 65,000 feet (19,810 meters) high--the highest cloud since the eruptions began. The larger eruption caused a mud flow into the Drift River near the base of the volcano.
Before yesterday's eruptions the volcano had been relatively quiet for more than a day.
According to the National Weather Service, prevailing winds are expected to carry ash from the larger eruption east across Cook Inlet toward some of Alaska's larger communities. An ash fall advisory for the western Kenai Peninsula covers the towns of Kenai, Soldotna and Cooper Landing.
Anchorage spokeswoman Jenny Evans said the state's largest city, roughly 100 miles (160 kilometers) northeast of the volcano, could see trace amounts of ash.