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Kamchatka volcano discharges gas, vapour and ash

January 07, 2013, 6:53 UTC+3

The eruption has been given the "orange" colour code of hazard to aviation

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PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, January 7 (Itar-Tass) — A discharge of vapour and gas with a high ash content has been recorded in the actve zone of eruption of volcano Plosky (flat) Tolbachik on the Kamchatka Peninsula. The column rose to an altitude of up to four kilometres above sea level and the trail has stretched for 20 km northeast of the volcano. There is no hazard to inhabited areas, the Kamchatka group for response to volcanic eruptions (KVERT) repoted on Monday.

The eruption has been given the "orange" colour code of hazard to aviation. The ash and gases ejected by the volcano may pose hazard to small-scale aviation. All the services concerned have been warned about this.

The Plosky Tolbachik remains seismically active. According to the Kamchatka branch of the Geophysical Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), luminescence, which is indicative of an influx of fresh incandescent materials, is observed in darkness over the lava flow in Tolbachinsky Dolu in the area of the volcano's southern slope.

The volcano grew active on November 27, last year, after a 36-year dormancy. On the first days of the volcano's activity, outflowing lava destroyed two permanent study areas of volcanologists and a tourist camp at the foot of the volcano. Noone was hurt.

In the estimate of experts at the Kamchatka Institute of Volcanology and Seismolog of the RAS Far Eastern Branch, the Plodky Tolbachik eruption may continue for up to four months. A crack with two active centers developed on the southern slope of the volcano, with laval flowing out of it. The maximum length of lava flows has grown to 18 km. The overall area of lava fields is14 square kilometres. The amount of ejected lava is estimated at 0.3 square kilometre, and is growing in volume.

The PLosky Tolbachik has an altitude of 3,085 metres above sea level. It is situated in the south-western sector of the Klyuchi group of volcanoes in Kamchatka's east, 63 km from Klyuchi Settlement and 343 km from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. The volcano is under permanent observation. There is no hazard to the population, specialists emphasize.

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