Published on Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Two erupting volcanoes threaten air traffic

A volcano in Alaska could affect air travel between North America and Asia this week, officials say.

The Cleveland volcano erupted three times on Saturday.

Cleveland is part of the Aleutian chain of islands, known as "The Ring of Fire," southwest of Anchorage. Home to 90 active volcanoes, it sits under a major air route between the US and the Asia.

The volcano's cloud of smoke, gas, steam, and ash rose 15,000 feet into the air.

While that was not high enough to be a significant threat to planes, federal aviation officials still rerouted air traffic as a precaution, and said flights may be affected all week.

The 5,676-foot-high Cleveland has exploded more than 20 times in the past couple of years. But this is the first time it has exploded multiple times in succession, Reuters reports.

Italy's Mt. Etna, meanwhile, also has been erupting, occasionally interfering with air traffic over Sicily. It erupted again last weekend, for the 13th time this year.

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