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Klyuchevskoi volcano ash plume in Kamchatka stretching 200 km east to Pacific

October 11, 2013, 14:32 UTC+3

The Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team has assigned the “orange” aviation colour code to the volcano

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Photo ITAR-TASS/Alexander Petrov

Photo ITAR-TASS/Alexander Petrov

PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, October 11 (Itar-Tass) - The Klyuchevskoi volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula is spewing ash to a height of up to 6 kilometres above sea level. The eruption plume is spreading east from the volcano to the Pacific, bypassing populated localities. It has stretched for 200 kilometres. There is no threat to nearby settlements, head of the seismic and volcanic activity laboratory of the Kamchatka branch of the Geophysical Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences (RAS) Sergei Senyukov told Itar-Tass.

According to him, the Klyuchevskoi volcano started to spew ash at about 04:00, local time, Friday. Continuous lava gushing was visible during the dark hours from the Klyuchi settlement (30 kilometres from the volcano). Hot volcanic material was ejected to a height of 300 metres. The volcano continues to spew steam, gas and ash.

The Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) has assigned the “orange” aviation colour code to the volcano. It warns about the possible ash outbursts to a height of 8 kilometres from the crater and the hazard it may pose to aircraft. All the concerned services have been warned.

The Klyuchevskoi volcano is the highest active volcano in Eurasia (4,750 metre above sea level) and one of the most active volcanoes in the world, according to experts of the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology. Its eruptions usually occur once in every 5 - 6 years and are accompanied by hot lava flows from the crater and powerful ash outbursts. The previous eruption of this volcano was observed from September 2009 to December 2010. The current eruption began in August 2013.

Scientists have recorded a sharp intensification of the volcano’s activity over the last few days. It manifested itself in the growing amplitude of volcanic tremor, which, according to recent reports, has already exceeded 60 mcm/s. Seismic activity on the Klyuchevskoi volcano has recently been so high as to render impossible correct seismic monitoring of the neighbouring Bezymyanny and Plosky Tolbachik volcanoes, seismologists say.

Klyuchevskoi is located 360 kilometres northeast of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. It is under continuous monitoring of experts.

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