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Petrol shifted out of volcano's way

THE United States Coast Guard is planning to move millions of gallons of oil stored in two tanks near an Alaska volcano that has had 18 major eruptions in the past two weeks.

Mount Redoubt began erupting on March 22. Since then the volcano has produced numerous large explosions that have sent mud and rock cascading down its flanks although it has been relatively quiet in recent days.

Some of that mud and debris reached the Drift River Terminal, 35 kilometers away. That has led to concerns that the terminal, where 22 million liters of oil is stored in two tanks, could be damaged and cause a catastrophic oil spill that would damage Cook Inlet's valuable fisheries.

The Coast Guard said a concrete dike surrounding the 42-year-old terminal is doing a good job of protecting the tanks.

Plans now are under way to draw down some of the oil in the two tanks.

On Saturday a tanker will be brought to a platform near the terminal to remove some of the oil. The plan is to leave nearly 6.5 million liters in each tank. Some oil needs to remain in the tanks to prevent them from becoming buoyant and floating away if there was a flood.


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