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Two Kamchatka volcanoes to be assigned orange aviation color code

January 10, 2014, 16:10 UTC+3 PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY
Shiveluch and Karymsky are currently the most active on the peninsula
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© ITAR-TASS/Igor Vaynshtein

PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, January 10. /ITAR-TASS/. Two volcanoes on Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula — Karymsky and Shiveluch, next week will be assigned the orange aviation color code, second after the highest — red code, warning about the hazard their eruption may pose to aircraft. All the services ensuring flight safety on the peninsula have been warned, the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) reported on Friday.

These volcanoes are currently the most active on the peninsula. Shiveluch (its height is 3,283 meters) may start to eject ash to a height more than 10 kilometers above sea level any time. Ash and aerosol plumes with such activity may pose hazard not only to the local aircraft, but also to big airliners flying on international routes through Kamchatka, the KVERT says.

The growth of the lava dome continues in the active part of the volcano. Rockslides take place occasionally and avalanches come down the volcano slopes. At night, a glow from the hot lava is visible over the giant mount.

It periodically spews ash — on January 7 and 8, Shiveluch eruption plumes spread 360 kilometers southwest and 278 kilometers northwest of the volcano. No ash fall was recorded at nearby populated localities.

The eruption of the Karymsky volcano (its height is 1,468 meters), continuing since January 1996, may be accompanied by ash spews to a height up to six kilometers above sea level. This may pose hazard to local aircraft, experts warn.

Karymsky remained active throughout the past week. On January 8, a 10-kilometre ash plume, stretching 10 kilometers south-southeast of the giant mount, was recorded.

There from 28 to 30 active volcanoes in Kamchatka, but these are estimates that may change, according to experts of the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology of the Far East department of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS). The most well-known are Shiveluch, Karymsky, Kluchevskoy, Kizimen, Bezymyanny, Plosky Tolbachik, Gorely, Avachinsky, Koryaksky, Mutnovsky.

The volcano monitoring system is well organized on the peninsula — seismic stations are set up near the most active volcanoes and video surveillance is organized. Experts also constantly receive from satellites volcano activity data.

In 1993, the KVERT group was established on the basis of the Kamchatka Institute of Volcanology and Seismology of the RAS Far East department, in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska. It transmits online information on the status of the Kamchatka volcanoes to all the concerned services, including the world’s largest air carriers, volcano observatories and weather services.

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