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Scientists say volcano that began erupting in Kamchatka dangerous for aircraft

Bezymianny volcano began erupting on Thursday after a four-year hiatus

PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, March 9. /TASS/. Scientists have raised aviation danger level the from orange to red because of Bezymianny volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East, which began erupting on Thursday after a four-year hiatus. That means that the volcano’s activity is dangerous for aircraft, the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) reported.

"According to KVERT video data, the volcano’s activity is gradually increasing. Powerful ash explosions can occur in the near future. Its current activity could affect international and low flying aircraft," the statement said.

According to KVERT, the ash plume is rising as high as 8 kilometers (earlier reports said 7 kilometers - TASS) and is drifting about 60 kilometers northwest of the volcano.

One of world’s most active volcanoes

Bezymianny is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. It is located in the central part of the Klyuchevskoy volcano group 350 kilometers northeast of Petropavlovsky-Kamchatsky. In 1955, the volcano "woke up" after almost a thousand years of silence. Its catastrophic eruption occurred on March 30, 1956. Within a short period of time, it threw into the atmosphere about three cubic kilometers of volcanic products, while the height of the eruption column was about 35 kilometers above the sea level.

Scientists observed 44 powerful explosive eruptions of this volcano from 1965 to 2012. The KVERT group has been monitoring its activity daily since 1993.

Bezymianny last erupted on September 1, 2012. Scientists believe it was silent over the past four years because of the eruption at Tolbachik volcano (from November 2012 to August 2013) and two eruptions of Klyuchevskoy volcano (from August 2012 and November 2016).