Residents in Juneau and across Alaska were subjected to dozens of flight cancellations due to air travel disruptions from ash that drifted from a volcanic eruption on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula earlier this week. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)

Residents in Juneau and across Alaska were subjected to dozens of flight cancellations due to air travel disruptions from ash that drifted from a volcanic eruption on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula earlier this week. (Clarise Larson / Juneau Empire File)

Flight cancellations continue amid volcanic eruption disruptions

Alaska Airlines reported 84 cancelled flights as of Friday afternoon.

Flight disruptions continued in Juneau and across Alaska throughout Friday in the wake of a volcanic eruption on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula earlier this week.

The volcanic ash that spewed into the atmosphere from Shiveluch Volcano drifted toward Alaska over the Aleutian Islands and across the Bering Sea, and on Thursday was largely concentrated in the Gulf of Alaska east of Kodiak Island.

In previous reporting, Nate Eckstein with the Science and Operations Office Anchorage Volcanic Ash Advisory Center told the Empire that while the ash was largely concentrated in the Gulf of Alaska east of Kodiak Island, it was possible the cloud could also trail into the panhandle by Friday morning. His forecast was last confirmed by the National Weather Service on social media.

Despite the cloud hovering about Southeast Alaska, Eckstein told the Empire there is little concern about health hazards from the ashfall, noting the cloud is primarily disrupting air travel as it looms around 36,000 feet into the air.

In an email statement sent to the Empire, Alaska Airlines told the Empire by Friday afternoon its operations were slowly returning to normal at all airports, but reported 82 flight cancellations in Alaska due to the ash cloud. That is in addition to 51 cancellations on Thursday.

“With safety always a priority, we canceled additional flights today to and from Alaska and within the state,” the email stated. “We continue to monitor the location, movement and timing of the atmospheric ash.”

• Contact reporter Clarise Larson at clarise.larson@juneauempire.com or (651)-528-1807.

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