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Ash from Kamchatka volcano eruption falls in two settlements

December 05, 2012, 12:02 UTC+3

The volcano, which awakened on November 27, after being dormant for 36 years, maintains high activity

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PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, December 5 (Itar-Tass) — Ash from the Plosky Tolbachik volcano eruption in Kamchatka has fallen in the Kozyrevsk and Lazo settlements, located 40 and 45 kilometres from the volcano, respectively. There is no danger to the local population, the Kamchatka branch of the Geophysical Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) told Itar-Tass on Wednesday.

The volcano, which awakened on November 27, after being dormant for 36 years, maintains high activity. The eruption of the giant mount continues. The number and intensity of the earthquakes on it have decreased, in comparison with the peak of activity, recorded during the first day of the eruption, but it does not mean it will soon cease, experts of the Kamchatka Institute of Volcanology and Seismology say. The volcano requires close attention, Deputy Director of the Institute Nikolai Seliverstov pointed out.

The current eruption is similar to the Great Tolbachik Fissure Eruption of 1975-1976, however, it is incomparable with it in power, analysts say. Activity is observed north of the Northern burst of the volcano’s latest eruption and south of Plosky Tolbachik. A fissure zone with two active centres has formed there. The lava is pouring from there. “The maximum length of the lava flows is 13 kilometres, and the total area, according to the latest estimates, is about 12-13 square kilometres,” said Seliverstov, adding that the lava fields’ power (height) is no more than 5 metres on average.

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 are burning near the lava fields.

On Wednesday, a field party of volcanologists that are part of a scientific expedition, created for a detailed analysis of what is happening on Plosky Tolbachik, is dispatched to the area of ··the eruption.

Plosky Tolbachik awakened late on November 27. Before the current eruption it was dormant since December 1976. A powerful burst of seismic activity was recorded on the volcano. Glow and gushing lava were observed during the night over its summit caldera. The giant mount spewed ash that stretched in a plume for at least 65 kilometres to the northwest.

The Kamchatka branch of the Geophysical Service of RAS reported earlier that the fall of up to 4 cm of volcanic dust has been recorded around the Maiskoye and Krasny Yar settlements that are located at a distance of 50 - 65 kilometres from the volcano.

According to earlier reports from Maiskoye, there was no ash fall in the settlement. The local population calmly took the news about the beginning of the eruption. All the local enterprises and institutions were operating normally. However, residents of Maiskoye were advised to tightly shut the doors and windows in their homes and not to come out into the street without urgent need. The recommendation is given in connection with the fact that volcanic ash, getting into the respiratory tract may cause allergic reactions, the ministry’s press service explained.

The height of Plosky Tolbachik is 3,085 metres above sea level. It is located in the south-western sector of the Klyuchevskaya group of volcanoes in the east of Kamchatka 63 kilometres from the Klyuchi settlement and 343 kilometres from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. The volcano eruption is under continuous monitoring. It poses no threat to nearby populated localities, experts say.






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