Hannah’s first week in Anchorage is almost over, and with just over two weeks left to go word of a volcanic eruption in her area is spreading. In an e-mail forward she sent me form University of Alaska Anchorage, it reads:
As Mt. Redoubt is showing signs of a potential eruption, we want to remind everyone of the appropriate safety precautions and the information resources available for the most up to date information. This afternoon the Alaska Volcano Observatory reports the following:
“Intermittent volcanic seismicity continues to be recorded at Redoubt. Volcanic unrest continues at Redoubt. Seismicity currently remains above background and the possibility of an eruption exists. AVO continues to monitor the volcano 24/7.” The watch alert is level orange.
UAA is open and operating today, January 28, 2009. In the event of changing conditions, updates via e-mail and the UAA website (www.uaa.alaska.edu) will be made.
Should the Redoubt eruption level change to red and the ash cloud is expected to impact Anchorage and the surrounding communities, UAA Facilities will shut down building air supply to prevent ash from moving through the ventilation system. Before leaving the office, please wrap or drape your electronic equipment with plastic bags after turning the equipment off. Plastic bags are available under the liners of most trash cans and barrels on campus. Please reuse the bags rather than discarding them…
The Office of Emergency Management issued the following safety precautions:
“If Anchorage is affected by an eruption the following basic health and safety measures should be followed.
1. Remain indoors during heavy ash fall periods;
2. Wear an N95 face mask when outdoors to reduce inhalation of ash particles. These dust masks can be purchased at most hardware stores;
3. As an alternative to a face mask, a wet cloth or bandana placed over the mouth and nose can help reduce exposure;
4. Contact lens wearers are advised to switch to eye glasses to reduce eye irritation from ash exposure;
5. Wear goggles for eye protection;
6. Wear long-sleeved shirts and gloves to protect skin; avoid bare skin contact with ash as much as possible.
So needless to say this news has made me a bit nervous about Hannah’s safety. Speaking with her on the phone that night, she and the class mates she is staying with are not to worried about it. I guess they have safety equment for breathing should this volcano decide to blow it’s top.
The next day I received the following e-mail forward from Hannah.
Dear UAA community:
We wanted to update you on the Redoubt volcano activity. As of 1:30 p.m, on January, 29, the Alaska Volcano Observatory reported the following:
“We have no indications that an eruption has occurred or is underway, or expected in the next few hours. Seismicity at Redoubt remains above background levels, and relatively unchanged over the past few hours. AVO is currently staffed 24 hours per day to monitor Redoubt Volcano. The Aviation Color Code remains at ORANGE and the Volcano Alert Level remains at WATCH”
If Redoubt does erupt and the ash cloud is expected to impact Anchorage and the surrounding communities, we will notify you immediately. If the campus does close as a result of the eruption, the Campus Response Team will send out notification via e-mail, the UAA Web site and through our Voice Over IP phones across campus as soon as possible.
Up to date information sources:
NOAA Forecast Office:
Alaska Volcano Observatory, Mt. Redoubt:
http://www.avo.alaska.edu/activity/Redoubt.phpUp to date information sources:
MOA Office of Emergency Management:
Anchorage Emergency Conditions Information Line: 343-4701
Again, UAA is open and operating a normal schedule today, January 29, 2009. Please watch
the Web site (www.uaa.alaska.edu), your e-mail box…for campus closure information or status.
The Campus Response Team
So for the time being, that is that.