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Adventurers intend to go close to erupting volcano with life risk

December 08, 2012, 9:37 UTC+3

None of the groups of tourists has registered the routes in the rescue services

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PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, December 8 (Itar-Tass) —— Kamchatka's Volcano Plosky Tolbachik on Saturday continued to spew ash up to four km above sea level. The height of the column of steam, gases and ash reaches 1.8 km. A glow is seen over the lava flows in Tolbachinsky Dol.

Kamchatka rescuers are on duty on the road leading from Kozyrevsk to Plosky Tolbachik, as a lot of adventurers plan to go close to the volcano this Saturday and on Sunday to see for themselves what is happening on the giant.

None of the groups of tourists has registered the routes in the rescue services. However, according to unofficial information, up to five groups of adventurers plan to go there, the Russian Emergencies Ministry's Kamchatka regional department said. The department notes it cannot impose a ban on visiting the volcano, but believes it should take measures to minimize risk.

Dangerous for tourists on the volcano are heated lava, toxic gases and ash, concentration of which may cause allergic reactions and can cause malfunction of equipment, specialists warn.

Ash emissions from the southern slope of the active volcano are seen from the nearest settlement of Kozyrevsk, which is located 40 km away. There is no threat to the residential areas, but the giant has an "orange" aviation threat code warning about the danger for flights, said the KVERT Kamchatka group of the Volcanology and Seismology Institute of the Far Eastern branch of the RAS. A camera installed by volcanologists in Kozyrevsk records the eruption.

The giant’s activity has aroused high interest among tourists. Despite the warnings, adventurers plan to go to the volcano.

Plosky Tolbachik became active on November 27 after it was calm for 36 years since the 1975-76 eruption. Up to five-km-long fissure was formed on Tolbachinsky Dol south of Plosky Tolbachik at a height of about 1.7 km above sea level with two active centres that spew lava. The flows of lava extend 13 km. The total area of lava fields is about 12-13 sq km. Their edges are up-to-five-metre-high fire walls heated to 1,000 degrees.

The height of Plosky Tolbachik is 3,085 metres above sea level. It is located in the southwestern sector of the Klyuchevskaya group of volcanoes on eastern Kamchatka, 63 km away from the settlement of Klyuchi and 343 km from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. The erupting volcano is being monitored.

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