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Cloud fuels Mount Rainier 'venting' speculation

The National Park Service confirmed a cloud atop Mount Rainier Wednesday morning led to Twitter users speculating it was "venting" or worse, erupting.

PIERCE COUNTY, Wash. — The U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the National Park Service calmed the nerves of Twitter users Wednesday amid speculation Mount Rainier was "venting" or worse, erupting. The National Park Service later confirmed it was just a cloud all along.

Multiple people began tweeting around 10:30 a.m. about what appeared to be smoke coming out of Mount Rainier.

USGS Volcanoes assured people the stratovolcano was not erupting and that a number of volcanologists were onsite installing new equipment and confirmed no abnormal activity.

The National Park Service confirmed it was a lenticular cloud that from certain angles was mistaken for venting.

The last reported seismic activity at Mount Rainier was on Saturday, according to the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network.

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Lenticular clouds often form when moist air is pushed up and over the top of a mountain, forming a disc-shaped cloud.

Mount Rainier has not produced a significant eruption in the past 500 years. USGS said it is potentially the most dangerous volcano in the Cascade Range due to its height, request earthquakes, active hydrothermal system and glacier mantle.

RELATED: How to prepare for a major Pacific Northwest disaster

Washington state's Emergency Management Division said this marks a good opportunity to make sure people are prepared for an emergency and comes as National Preparedness Month kicks off.

To find more information on how best to prepare for a disaster, visit mil.wa.gov.

Credit: Washington state Emergency Management Division

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