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10 Apr, 2023 22:26

Another volcano eruption triggers ‘red alert’ (VIDEOS)

Mt. Shiveluch spewed lava and ash over Kamchatka in Russia’s Far East
Another volcano eruption triggers ‘red alert’ (VIDEOS)

The Shiveluch volcano in the Russian Far East erupted on Tuesday morning local time, throwing a plume of ash up to 20km into the atmosphere. The Kamchatka authorities are monitoring the lava flow, while regional residents were told to stay inside and wear masks.

The eruption began around 1am and reached its maximum five hours later, according to local volcanologists. Plumes of hot ash rose into the sky, followed by rockfalls and lava flow from the mountain, which rises 2,500 meters above the Pacific Ocean. 

Instruments and satellite surveillance on Tuesday morning confirmed the ash had reached up to 20km into the atmosphere. The event was registered by monitoring stations more than 100km away.

Scientists and local residents captured the stunning and ominous cloud rising above Shiveluch, and shared videos of a thick layer of ash covering vehicles and homes in nearby towns.

“Fortunately, the volcano did not begin erupting during the tourist season, when many irresponsible travelers ignore warnings and stray into the restricted area,” Danila Chebrov, director of the Kamchatka chapter of the federal geological service, said.

In Klyuchi, about 47km from Shiveluch, the skies turned black. Local schools switched to remote classes, and residents were told to stay home and wear a mask if they needed to go outside for any reason, due to the ashfall.

As lava descends from the volcano, it melts the snow on the slopes of Shiveluch, raising the risks of mudslides. The road along the Kamchatka River, connecting Klyuchi to Mayskoe and Kozyrevsk further inland, is being monitored ahead of any possible closures.

A red alert for air travel has been declared on the peninsula following the Shiveluch eruption. Air traffic was already being rerouted after Friday’s eruption at the Bezymianny volcano, further south, which resulted in a 12km ash plume. A 25km restricted area had been declared around both volcanoes in anticipation of the eruption at Shiveluch.

Shiveluch is one of Kamchatka’s largest volcanoes, and one of the most active on the planet.