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Lava begins pouring out of Klyuchevskoi volcano crater


Situation doesn't pose any risks for the population centers at the moment

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© ITAR-TASS/Igor Burmistrov

PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, January 13. /TASS/. Lava has begun to stream from the crater of Kamchatka’s famous active volcano, the Klyuchevskoi, also known as the Klyuchevskaya Sopka, Olga Girina, the chief of the Kamchatka Volcano Eruptions Reaction Team (KVERT) of the Institute for Volcanic and Seismic Studies told TASS. 

The previous eruption of the Klyuchevskoi, the tallest active volcano in Eurasia, occurred in the period of August 15 through to December 20, 2013. The lava melted the Ehrman Glacier then and the streams of water ran down to a local river, washing out the area’s main road.

“The lava is now streaming towards the volcano’s southeastern slope in the direction of the Apakhonchich field camp of the Institute,” Girina said. “The event was confirmed on January 11 by visual observations and satellite surveillance of the area.”

“Later on, the fact was confirmed by high-definition satellite images and data from video cameras installed near the foothills of the nearby Bezymyanny Volcano,” she said.

At the time of reporting, it was still impossible to say how low the lava had descended down the slope - 500 meters or 1,000 meters.

“Weather in the vicinity of the volcano was bad for quite some time but it’s improving now and, quite possibly, we’ll have an opportunity shortly to assess the duration of the stream and other phenomena linked to it,” Girina said.

The current eruption of the Klyuchevskoi, which is 4,750 meters tall, began January 1, 2015. It belched out ash to the elevation of 6.0 to 6.5 km above sea level almost daily.

Spurting of the lava continues at the volcano now and strong volcanic tremors are being registered but experts say the situation does not pose any risks for the population centers at the moment.

Descent of mudslides down the slopes is possible subsequently and cinders may fall out in nearby townships.

The Klyuchevckoi is located 360 kilometers to the northwest of the capital of the Kamchatka territory, Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. The nearest township, Klyuchi is separated from it by a distance of 30 km and it is home to about 5,000 people at present.

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