Continuing eruptions from the Anatahan Volcano in the Mariana Islands have affected local air travel in late July 2005. The volcano’s ongoing ash emissions have reduced visibility in the area, forcing nearby Saipan International Airport to suspend departing flights, according to the Pacific Daily News. The U.S. Air Force Weather Agency has likewise reported that the residents of Saipan and Tinian in the Mariana Islands are enduring a strong sulfur odor from the volcano’s emissions.
The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) flying onboard the Aqua satellite captured this image on July 29, 2005. In this image, volcanic ash streams from the Anatahan Volcano toward the southwest as clouds drift overhead. The lighter area to the right of the volcano is caused by sunglint, when the ocean’s surface reflects sunlight into the satellite sensor.
Anatahan continues to steam after its largest eruption in recorded history on April 6, 2005. This major eruption was a continuation of its third historical eruption, which began early in January 2005. Anatahan is located in the Northern Mariana Islands in the North Pacific Ocean and has been responsible for blanketing Guam and other nearby islands with volcanic haze.