PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, January 19. /TASS/. The Zhupanovsky volcano in Russia’s Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula on Tuesday released ash to the height of 8 kilometers above the sea level after almost two months of relative calm, a member of the local group of the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology has said.
"Today at around 4.30 p.m. local time [3.30 a.m. GMT] the Zhupanovsky volcano spewed ash to the height of up to 8 kilometers [5 miles] above the sea level. The ash column could be seen with the naked eye from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and some other settlements," the scientist said.
Experts said the ash cloud spreads in the eastern direction towards the Pacific Ocean. The populated areas are currently not under threat. "At the moment, the ash cloud has spread to 20 kilometers and it continues moving towards the ocean," the member of the group said.
An "orange" code of warning for the aviation has been issued. Travel companies have been asked not to organize tours to the areas close to the Zhupanovsky volcano.
The Aviation Color Codes reflect four levels of danger posed for civilian aircraft overflying areas adjacent to volcanoes and range from ‘Green’ to ‘Red’ codes. According to the International Airways Volcano Watch system (IAVW) the ‘Orange’ code stands for "Volcano is exhibiting heightened unrest with increased likelihood of eruption" or "Volcanic eruption is underway with no or minor ash emission."
The Zhupanovsky volcano is located in eastern Kamchatka, some 70 kilometers north of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. Zhupanovsky is one of the least studied volcanoes in the region despite its proximity to a large city. It is a complex volcano composed of four overlapping cones aligned on a roughly east-west oriented axis, with the highest cone reaching 2,958 meters high, and the lowest one being 2,505 meters high.