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Shiveluch volcano on Kamchatka spews ash to 10 km height

April 26, 2012, 8:51 UTC+3

The Shiveluch volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula has spewed an ash column to a height of more than 10 kilometres

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PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, April 26 (Itar-Tass) — The Shiveluch volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula has spewed an ash column to a height of more than 10 kilometres. This poses no hazard to the local population. There have been o reports about the fallout of volcanic dust in the nearby settlements, the Kamchatka Branch of the Geophysical Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) reported on Thursday.

According to seismologists, two earthquakes were recorded on the volcano on Wednesday. It could be seen from the Klyuchi settlement (situated 50 kilometres from the foot of the volcano) how an ash column ejected by Shiveluch was rising to a height of 10 kilometres above sea level. This spew has become the most powerful since the beginning of 2012.

The volcano is currently closed by dense clouds and it is impossible to see the ash emissions from its crater. However, according to the classification of the Geophysical Service, the highest – “Red” hazard code has been given to the volcano that indicates there is a high probability of emission of ash from its crater to a height of more than 8 kilometres.

Shiveluch has been showing increased activity for more than four weeks, the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology of the RAS Far East Department told Itar-Tass. In the period from April 16 to April 20, reports of ash spews from its crater were coming almost every day. This was followed by a short decline in the giant mount’s activity, and now it has again displayed its “explosive nature.”

Shiveluch is the northernmost active volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula. It is located 450 kilometres northeast of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. The absolute height of the volcano is 3,283 metres. The highest point of its active part, called Young Shiveluch, is 2,500 metres above sea level, the diameter of the crater is 1.5 kilometres. The volcano’s eruptions are explosive. In 1864 and 1964 the peaks of its activity were observed, which experts rated as catastrophic. Young Shiveluch has been active since September 1980. Specialists have been continuously monitoring the volcano for more than 30 years.

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