PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, October 25 (Itar-Tass) -The Zhupanovsky volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula has spewed ash to a height of 4 km above sea level, the ash cloud has moved 75 km southwest from the volcano towards the Avacha Gulf. There are no settlements on its way, so no ash fall has been registered in populated localities on the peninsula, the press service of the Russian Emergency Situations Ministry’s (EMERCOM) main department for Kamchatka Krai reported on Friday.
According to the classification of the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), the second highest level of hazard to aircraft - the orange aviation colour code has been assigned to the Zhupanovsky volcano. All the services ensuring flight safety have been warned. However, the EMERCOM press service said that there are no air routes near the volcano.
The Directorate of the Volcanoes of Kamchatka Nature Park told Itar-Tass on Friday that an employee of the Nalychevo Nature Park was the first to register on October 23 the awakening of the Zhupanovsky volcano that has been dormant for the past 56 years. According to the expert, a powerful outburst of ash in the active part of the volcano was visible from the central part of the park at about 30 km from the foot of the giant mount. A roar could be heard there from the started eruption, and after a while after the volcano awakening there was volcanic ash fall. The ash layer on the ground was about 1 mm thick, the expert said. An inspector of the nature part said during a radio communication session on Friday that the Zhupanovsky was now spewing ash at the moment, but columns of steam are rising from it, confirming that its activity is not subsiding.
There are no tourists at present in the Nalychevo Natural Park, where the volcano is located. However, experts did not exclude that people who want to watch the eruption would appear there in the coming weekend. The park is located at a distance of some 40 km from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. It is easy to get there on all-terrain vehicles by a dirt road.
The volcano itself is located about 70 km northeast of the Kamchatka regional centre. The height of the giant mount is 2,958 metres. Its age is about 50 thousand years. The previous eruption had been observed in 1956-1957.
According to the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology of the Far East branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS), all known eruptions of the Zhupanovsky volcano have been relatively weak, without catastrophic consequences. The volcano currently poses no danger to settlements, experts say.