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Base for tourists of Plosky Tolbachik volcano planned

February 19, 2013, 17:13 UTC+3

The Plosky Tolbachik eruption was assessed by scientists as outstanding

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PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, February 19 (Itar-Tass) – It is planned to create a base for tourists who want to visit the erupting Plosky Tolbachik volcano in Kamchatka.

The creation of tourist infrastructure in the area of ·· the volcano envisages the opening of the base camp in which both volcanologists and representatives of the Emergency Situations Ministry (EMERCOM) will be staying. It will also be possible to establish a tent camp for groups of tourists. This opinion, the press service of the Kamchatka government reported on Tuesday, was expressed by the head of the regional Tourism and External Relations Agency, Gevork Shkhiyan, at a meeting with representatives of the peninsula’s tourism businesses.

“Many people who want to see the eruption are going to the volcano. We cannot prohibit them to go there, but we have to make the route maximally safe,” said Shkhiyan, noting that unorganised groups of tourists who want to go to the zone of the spread of lava flows in the Tolbachik dale “have a great chance to get into trouble.”

Plosky Tolbachik awakened on November 27 after being dormant for 36 years from the moment of its great fissure eruption that was observed in 1975-1976. In Tolbachik dale, south of Plosky Tolbachik at an altitude of about 1.7 kilometres above sea level, a fissure zone with two active centres formed. The lava has been pouring from there. The Plosky Tolbachik eruption was assessed by scientists as outstanding. It has been going on for more than three months. A lava lake has formed in the active zone. The lava flows have destroyed a station of the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology in the area of the Vodopadny creek, the Leningradskaya research base and a base of the Volcanoes of Kamchatka natural park. Trees were burning near the lava fields. The erupting volcano in Russia's Far East has become a sightseeing hotspot for crowds of thrill-seeking tourists eager to see flows of lava and clouds of ash.

However, scientists believe that the eruption is a real present for the 50th anniversary of the Institute that was marked in 2012. The eruption was given its own name – “Fissure Eruption of the 50th Anniversary of the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology of the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences in the Tolbachik Dale.”

The height of Plosky Tolbachik is 3 thousand 85 metres above sea level. It is located in the south-western sector of the Klyuchevskaya group of volcanoes in Kamchatka in the east 343 kilometres from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. The volcano poses no threat to nearby populated localities. The EMERCOM officers are on duty in the volcano area whose task is to ensure safety of people going to the foot of the giant mount.

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