The Alaska Volcano Observatory (AVO) issued its highest level of alert for aviation after reports surfaced about a brief eruption of Bogoslof volcano in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska. The volcano erupted Tuesday forming an ash cloud that rose to 34,000 feet, pilots reported. The observatory issued a red alert, which defines a hazardous eruption being imminent, underway or suspected. Later Tuesday, the Bogoslof volcano’s status was downgraded to orange, which means

that the volcano “is exhibiting heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption” or that “an eruption is underway that poses limited hazards including no or minor volcanic-ash emissions.” While only 4,300 people live within 62 miles of the volcano, there is a lot of air traffic that crosses the Aleutian Islands — a chain of volcanic islands in the Bering Sea, belonging to both the U.S. and Russia. The last recorded eruption of Bogoslof was reportedly in 1992. READ MORE