Friday, March 27, 2009

Mount Redoubt Eruption No Cause for Alarm

/PRNewswire/ -- While news outlets worldwide feature stories on the explosion of Alaska's Mount Redoubt volcano, travelers are urged to get current, local information before cancelling travel plans.

The volcano, which is located approximately 103 miles southwest of Anchorage, began erupting on Sunday, March 22, and has been intermittently active since. So far, though, the ash cloud has not significantly impacted Anchorage airspace, and ash fall has been limited to a few small, remote communities.

Volcanologists in Alaska and elsewhere have noted the volcano could remain active for a period of weeks or months, but travelers with trips planned for the summer should monitor the situation before cancelling vacation plans. Visitors are asked to check with local convention and visitors bureaus and tourism businesses to find out what the situation is like in the specific areas to which they are traveling. Most areas of the state remain unaffected by the volcano's eruption.

"If I wasn't paying attention to news broadcasts or the web, I wouldn't even know it was happening," said Ron Peck, president and COO of the Alaska Travel Industry Association. "Right now in Anchorage we're seeing basically no impact from the eruption, and that could continue to be the case indefinitely. It would be a shame if people cancelled their plans for no real reason."

Weather and other meteorological forces dictate ash-fall patterns, and circumstances can change often and quickly. Updates are posted regularly at several sites, including the Alaska Volcano Observatory (, the National Weather Service ( and Anchorage Convention & Visitors Bureau (

Peck suggested travelers concerned about their summer plans should purchase trip insurance. Inexpensive policies are widely available on the Internet and through travel agents or airlines.

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