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No ash fall in Kamchatka settlements after volcano spews ash

January 14, 2014, 9:45 UTC+3 PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY
Shiveluch continues demonstrating increased activity
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© ITAR-TASS Archive/Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences

PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, January 14. /ITAR-TASS/. No ash fall has been reported from local settlements after Russia’s active volcano Shiveluch, located on the Kamchatka peninsula, spewed ash to an altitude of eight kilometers on Monday, the Kamchatka branch of the Russian Ministry for Emergency Situations reports on Tuesday.

At 17:50 local time (05:50 GMT) on Monday, January 13, the volcano spewed ash to an altitude between seven to eight kilometers above sea level. An ash cloud began drifting west and south-west where the settlements of Klyuchi, Kozyrevsk, Anavgai and Esso, home to more than 9,800 people, are located. However, the initial unfavorable forecast of ash falls was not confirmed, EMERCOM reports.

Shiveluch continues demonstrating increased activity, being more active on Tuesday than on Sunday and Monday, sources from the Kamchatka branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Geophysical Service told Itar-Tass. According to the Kamchatka Volcanic Response Team (KVERT), the giant volcano may any moment emit ash to an altitude more than 10 kilometers. It has been assigned the ’orange’ aviation color code, second after the highest - red code, warning about the hazard eruptions may pose to aircraft. Warnings have been sent to Russian and foreign services ensuring the safety of flights.

Shiveluch is among the most active volcanoes on the Kamchatka peninsula. It occasionally emits steam, gas and ash. On January 12 and 13, the giant thrice spewed ash to an altitude of 6.2 to eight kilometers above sea level.

Ash falls of about 0.5 millimeters were registered on Sunday in the settlement of Klyuchi, located about 50 kilometers from the volcano’s bottom. This is not dangerous, Yuri Demyanchuk from the volcanic observatory in Klyuchi said. Specialists believe that a rather strong eruption is possible this year.

The volcano is located 450 kilometers northeast of the regional centre, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.

Its altitude is 3,300 meters. The highest point of the active part of the volcano, called Young Shiveluch is at 2.8 km above sea level.

The previous periods of volcano activity intensification had been recorded in 1980-1981 and in 1993-1995, respectively. The most recent eruption of the giant mount that was assessed by scientists as catastrophic was observed in 1964.

There are currently no preconditions for an eruption of this strength, experts said. However, rather strong bursts of volcano activity are possible. Shiveluch poses no threat for the local population. However, EMERCOM warns tourists against trips to the volcano.

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