An ash cloud caused by a volcanic eruption in Russia has forced a number of flights to be cancelled in the United States (US) and Canada.
The Shiveluch volcano, on Russia’s far eastern Kamchatka peninsula, erupted shortly after midnight on Tuesday, April 11, 2023, shooting a cloud of ash far and wide into the atmosphere.
According to Reuters the event covered local villages in dark volcanic dust and prompted an aviation warning.
The Kamchatka Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Geophysical Survey has stated that the eruption reached its peak after six hours, but not before the ash cloud had enveloped an area of 108,000 square kilometers.
The Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team issued a red notice for the aviation industry and advised that “international and low-flying aircraft” could be affected.
On Thursday, April 13, 2023, Alaska Airlines advised passengers that the eruption in Russia was “impacting flights”.
As a safety precaution, the airline took the decision to cancel “some flights to and from Alaska and within the state”.
“We continue to monitor the ash cloud, and depending on its location, movement and timing, we might need to cancel additional flights,” the airline said in a statement.
The Alaska Volcano Observatory confirmed that the ash cloud had begun drifting over the US’s most northern state.
It’s been reported that some flights out of northern British Columbia in Canada were also cancelled on April 13, 2023.
According to City News Vancouver, Air Canada cancelled certain regional flights to and from Prince Rupert and Terrace.
Back in 2010, a series of volcanic eruptions at Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland caused huge disruption to air travel across Europe.