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20 Nov, 2022 12:39

Major volcanic eruption expected in Russia – scientists

The Shiveluch volcano in the Far-Eastern Kamchatka Region has become “extremely active” in recent days, researchers warn
Major volcanic eruption expected in Russia – scientists

A powerful volcanic eruption is expected in Russia’s Far East, local volcanologists have warned. One of Kamchatka Region’s largest volcanos, Shiveluch, has been increasingly active in recent days, the researchers say.

In a statement cited by Russian news outlet Ria Novosti on Sunday, Aleksey Ozerov, the director of the Volcanology and Seismology Institute of the Far-Eastern chapter of the Russian Academy of Sciences, warned that the “volcano’s dome is significantly heated.

At night, the dome is incandescent,” Ozerov noted, adding that “red-hot avalanches are rolling down [the volcano’s] slopes with temperatures reaching 1,000 degrees Celsius.

According to the scientist, all of these signs usually precede a “powerful… eruption.

On Sunday, the Kamchatka chapter of the Geophysical Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences posted a series of photos and a video on its Telegram channel showing an eruption. The researchers said there was a column of volcanic ash reaching approximately 5km above mean sea level.

Volcanologists issued an ‘orange’ aviation alert in the area, following a similar episode on Monday.

Earlier, Ozerov warned that ash rains are expected to fall on nearby settlements, while pyroclastic flows, made up of solidified lava pieces, volcanic ash, and hot gases, could reach up to 20km and disrupt traffic on one of the peninsula’s key highways.

Scientists advised local residents to stay at least 15km away from the volcano, as a major eruption could occur at any time.

The Shiveluch volcano has three domes, the most active of which towers 2.5km above mean sea level. The nearest settlement is 50km away.