Nine People Endangered After Volcano Erupts on Umnak Island

JUNEAU, Alaska (D17 Public Affairs) – Coast Guard search and rescue coordinators at the District Seventeen Command Center are monitoring the safety of nine people on Umnak Island, Alaska, after a volcano erupted on the island around 12 p.m., today.

The six adults and three children at Fort Glenn on Umnak Island have reported they have falling volcanic ash and volcanic rock in their location. Coast Guard aircraft are unable to respond due to the ash and rock falling.

The Coast Guard has issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast for mariners in the area to assist if possible. Search and rescue coordinators have diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis but the cutter is 800 miles away from Umnak Island. The Jarvis is approximately 36 to 48 hours from being able to give assistance..

A single helicopter privately owned is on the island and is trying to be used to evacuate the nine people to Unalaska Island which is approximately 60 miles away. The helicopter can only carry one person at a time.

There is currently no communication between the group and the Coast Guard although the group reported the situation via cell phone.

The Coast Guard Cutter Jarvis is a 378-foot High Endurance Cutter homeported in Honolulu, Hawaii.

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One Comment

  1. John Bobrink says:

    I was hoping someone on the rescue mission of 07/12/08 to Unmak Island has taken some photographs of the eruption of Mount Okmok.

    Would love to see them if possible. Cannot find anything on the web.

    ALSO and more importantly:
    Please send my personal commendations and thanks to all who are or have served overseas in Iraq.
    Keep up the good work!