November 12, 2012 – Alaska “Heats Up” With a 6.4 Magnitude Earthquake and a Volcanic Eruption at Mount Cleveland: Today’s 6.4 magnitude quake (see “B” on the map) occurred at 10:42PM GMT (London) and was centered 562 kilometers (349 miles) southeast of Anchorage, Alaska at a depth of 55 kilometers (34 miles). Mount Cleveland also erupted (see “A” on the map and the narrative that follows).
On November 10, 2012, Earth-orbiting satellites detected a small ash cloud from Mount Cleveland; otherwise known as Cleveland Volcano; which makes up a large part of a remote and uninhabited island in the east-central Aleutian Island chain. The satellites took note of the small eruption at 11:47 a.m. local time in Alaska (20:47 UTC). The ash was drifting slowly toward the east-northeast from the volcano’s summit. Scientists keep an eye on this volcano, because it can be hazardous to aircraft. The aviation code color for Cleveland Volcano currently has been raised from yellow to orange. This volcano; located about 75 kilometers (45 miles) west of the community of Nikolski, and 1,500 kilometers (940 miles) southwest of Anchorage; is one of the most active in this region. It has erupted at least 21 times in the last 230 years, with its only known direct fatality occurring in 1944. Most recently, Mount Cleveland has erupted three times in 2009, twice in 2010, and once in 2011. Scientists observed the most recent minor ash emission in August 2012, prior to the November 10 event.
Does the simultaneous eruption of Mount Cleveland and the 6.4 magnitude quake mean that significant movement in the Pacific Ring of Fire has begun? Only time will tell.
The Master of Disaster