Commemorating the Katmai-Novarupta Eruption Centennial

One hundred years ago today, the largest explosive volcanic eruption of the 20th century happened in Alaska. The Katmai-Novarupta explosion was 30 times bigger than the Mt. Saint Helens eruption in 1980.

The explosion happened on the Alaska Peninsula, about one hundred miles east of Kodiak city. Ash from the eruption would eventually travel as far as the Mediterranean.  So much volcanic material was released that it destroyed everything in the surrounding 40 square miles. The volcano decimated Kodiak’s fishing industry, destroyed homes and killed plants and wildlife. KMXT’s Jennifer Canfield compiled this account of the eruption. It includes Kodiak residents reading historical letters about the event and a volcano researcher who has studied the eruption.

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