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Alaska volcano simmers down

  • Story Highlights
  • Scientists say it is now less likely that Alaska's Mount Redoubt will erupt
  • An eruption at the volcano previously was thought to be eminent
  • The 10,197-foot peak is located about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage
  • Scientists say an eruption is still possible, but is not certain
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(CNN) -- An eruption may not be imminent after all for Alaska's Mount Redoubt, authorities said Thursday.

Fears that Alaska's Mount Redoubt would erupt have diminished.

Fears that Alaska's Mount Redoubt would erupt have diminished.

"For the past two weeks or so, the seismic activity at Redoubt volcano has significantly decreased," said Michelle Coombs, a geologist for the Alaska Volcano Observatory and the U.S. Geological Survey.

The status is now at a "yellow" level, meaning the volcano is "exhibiting heightened or escalating unrest with increased potential of eruption, timeframe uncertain, or eruption is underway with no or minor volcanic-ash emissions."

In late January, experts began paying close attention to the volcano and raised the alert to "orange," indicating that it could erupt at any time.

"We believe based on what we're seeing now, that if it were to erupt, that we would see enough increase in seismic activity to give us sufficient warning to go back up to orange," Coombs said.

Two other volcanoes in Alaska are also at the "yellow" status currently, and Mount Redoubt could remain at that level for months, Coombs said.

"There's a certain level of unpredictability," she said.

The 10,197-foot peak is located in southern Alaska, about 100 miles southwest of Anchorage, the state's most populous city.

Mount Redoubt last erupted nearly 20 years ago, in December 1989. That eruption lasted until April 1990.

CNN's Robyn Sidersky contributed to this story

All About AlaskaU.S. Geological SurveyVolcanic Eruptions

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