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Lava torrent from Kamchatka volcano advancing to research base

February 14, 2013, 9:27 UTC+3

The research base is located on the bank of Tolud River at an altitude of 970 metres above sea level

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PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, February 14 (Itar-Tass) - A lava torrent from the erupting Kamchatka volcano Plosky (flat) Tolbachik is advancing towards the volcanology research base Tolud in Tolbachinsky Dol (dale), an official at the Directorate of the Volcanology Observatory, based in Klyuchi (water-springs) Settlement (63 km from the volcano), told Itar-Tass on Thursday.

According to scientists who are staying at the base, the distance between the base and the lava torrent boundary is about 2.7 kmand the torrent is moving on.

The research base is located on the bank of Tolud River at an altitude of 970 metres above sea level. The staff of the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (IVS) of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, use the base for observation of the Plosky Tolbachik eruption which began on November 27, last year, after 36 years of dormancy.

The Institute's three staff members, headed by Yaroslav Muravyov, Deputy Director for Research, are now lodging in the only building at Tolud. Yet another group of volcanologists and photographers is at work in the volcano area. They live in tents.

Yuri Demyanchuk, Director of the Volcanology Observatory, has told Itar-Tass that there is no direct menace to the base so far. There is little likelihood that lava will move straight to the base. "Due to the peculiarities of terrain, lava will most likely bypass the base to the south," he said.

The Plosky Tolbachik eruption, which scientists estimated as an outstanding one, has been going on for more than three months now. A lake of lava in the core zone continues to spout with incandescent matter. Lava torrents from the lake are flowing out, merging into a fiery stream.

On the first days of the active phase of the eruption, incandescent lava torrents destroyed two stationary facilities of the IVS in Tolbachinsky Dol. Nevertheless, scientists view the giant volcano eruption as a real present for the Institute's 50th jubilee marked in 2012. The eruption is now referred to as a "Fissure eruption named after the 50th jubilee of the IVS in Tolbachinsky Dol".

The altitude of the Plosky Tolbachik volcano is 3,085 metres above sea level. It is located in the south-western sector of the Klyuchi cluster of volcanoes in the Kamchatka Peninsula's east, 343 km from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. The volcano eruption does not pose danger to populated areas.


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