Airlines warned of danger from erupting volcano
Aircraft have been strongly advised to review flight routes due to a powerful volcanic outburst in Russia’s far-eastern peninsula of Kamchatka, according to a statement by the Federal Agency for Air Transport, Rosaviatsiya, published on Saturday.
The agency said that on Friday morning the Bezymianny volcano in the eastern part of the Kamchatka peninsula erupted, producing a 12,000-meter column of ash, which drifted to the southeast.
The eruption was assigned the maximum ‘red’ hazard code according to the International Civil Aviation Organization scale, Rosaviatsiya said, warning that “volcanic activity poses a danger to domestic and international flights.”
To ensure air travel safety, Russia’s flight authorities issued the so-called Notice to Airmen requiring them to “take into account the peculiarities of this natural phenomenon” and “suggesting using alternative routes” when flying over this part of Russia.
The agency also noted that Russia’s aviation authorities had ensured the passing of 23 aircraft from China, India and other South Asian countries bound for North America or back.
Bezymianny ejected four plumes of ash on Friday, resulting in the region’s emergency services issuing an alert for local residents and tourists. The authorities warned them against visiting both Bezymianny and neighboring Shiveluch volcanoes, and advise against going closer than 25 kilometers to the mountains, while also noting that ash outbreaks could reach heights of 15,000 meters.
The Kamchatka peninsula hosts a large volcanic group, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a major tourist destination. Eruptions are regarded as an ordinary event, and they rarely cause serious devastation.