NATION

Alaska volcanic eruption intensifies; lava advances in Hawaii

The 49th and 50th states show off their capacity for volcanic activity with smoke and lava

A volcano in the Alaska Peninsula launched an ash plume 30,000 feet into the air on Saturday morning, while officials in Hawaii say lava continues to advance on a town that has been sitting in the path of a slow-moving molten slide since June.

Mt. Pavlof, which has been erupting since Wednesday, continues to see intense seismic activity, and pilots in the area were reporting ash clouds as high as 30,000 feet above sea level, according to the state's volcano observatory.

The Federal Aviation Administration has yet to impose flight restrictions in the area, according to spokesman Ian Gregor, but the agency did issue several notices to pilots regarding the eruption.

In Hawaii, the state's civil defense agency said Saturday that the lava flow from Kilauea volcano that had advanced slowly on the town of Pahoa since June was continuing to edge closer, but still did not pose an immediate threat to residents.

The lava, which has come within 200 yards of Pahoa Village Road in recent weeks, has smothered part of a cemetery and set fire to two structures, but there are no other buildings in its immediate vicinity. 

In a statement issued Saturday, Hawaii's civil defense agency said several "active breakouts" from the lava flow were burning asphalt and vegetation, and heavy smoke conditions could be persistent in the area. 

Many residents of Pahoa have evacuated or are prepared to do so. 

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