Alaska volcano: Pavlof 'abruptly erupts' and sends ash 20,000ft into the sky

Pavlof Volcano, located on the Aleutian Islands, is one of the most active in the region

A volcano on a remote Alaskan island has “abruptly erupted” - sending  plumes of ash more than 20,000ft into the air and triggering a flight warning.

The Pavlof Volcano, (pictured above during a previous eruption), located on the Aleutian Islands, began erupting on Sunday afternoon, according to the Alaska Volcano Observatory.

CNN said that a volcano alert warning remained in effect on Monday morning, and the aviation warning colour code remained red, its highest level.

Images of the volcano were captured by Colt Snapp, a passenger on a Penair flight from Dutch Harbor to Anchorage in Alaska yesterday evening. He said the pilot flew closer to let passengers get a better look.

"Pavlof Volcano Eruption over Aleutian Islands in Alaska," he wrote on Twitter. 

Ash was reportedly moving north after the eruption, according to the volcano observatory. Seismic activity was also reported after the quake.

The volcano, which is located about 600 miles southwest of Anchorage, erupted at 4.18pm. local time. It last erupted in November 2014.

The United States Geological Survey has raised the volcano alert level to “Warning” and the aviation warning to “Red”. 

The agency says the volcano, which is about 4.4 miles in diameter, has had 40 known eruptions and “is one of the most consistently active volcanoes in the Aleutian arc”. 

It said that during a previous eruption in 2013, ash plumes rose 27,000 feet. Other eruptions have generated ash plumes as high as 49,000 feet. 

The community closest to the volcano is Cold Bay, which is about 37 miles southwest of it. 

The first recorded ascent of Pavlof Volcano was on June 27, 1928.