On the far eastern Kamchatka peninsula, one of Russia’s most active volcanoes erupted on Tuesday, sending a massive cloud of ash far into the sky, engulfing nearby settlements in swirls of grey volcanic dust and invoking an aviation alert.
According to the Kamchatka Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences’ Geophysical Survey, the Shiveluch volcano erupted shortly after midnight and reached a crescendo approximately six hours later, shooting forth an ash cloud over a region of 108,000 square kilometres (41,699 square miles).
Images showed the fog sweeping quickly across the far eastern forests, rivers, and ash-covered settlements.
According to Danila Chebrov, director of the Geophysical Survey’s Kamchatka branch, “the ash reached 20 kilometres high, the ash cloud moved westwards and there was a very strong fall of ash on nearby villages.”
The volcano has been preparing for this for at least a year, and the process is still underway even though it has temporarily subsided, according to Chebrov.
The huge Kamchatka peninsula of Russia, which juts into the Pacific Ocean northeast of Japan, is home to some 300,000 people.
Chebrov predicted that the volcano, one of Kamchatka’s biggest and most active, will likely slow down at this point, but he cautioned that additional significant ash clouds could not be ruled out. The lava flows shouldn’t get to the nearby villages, according to Chebrov.
Although geologists reported the volcano was still exploding 15 hours after the eruption began, there were no initial reports of casualties.
In a red advisory for aviation, the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) warned that “ongoing activity could affect international and low-flying aircraft.”
Oleg Bondarenko, the governor of the Ust-Kamchatsky municipal region, posted on Telegram that certain schools on the peninsula, which is around 6,800 miles east of Moscow, were shuttered and inhabitants were told to stay inside.
Schools to shut down
Children won’t be able to attend school as a result of what Bondarenko just seen with his own eyes, and the presence of kids overall is in doubt.
He said that residents’ electricity had been restored and that water was being provided.
In the previous 10,000 years, Shiveluch has experienced over 60 significant eruptions, with the most recent one occurring in 2007.
It consists of two main portions, the smaller of which, Young Shiveluch, has been seen by scientists to be particularly active recently. Young Shiveluch has a peak that rises to a height of 2,800 metres (9,186 feet), protruding out of the 3,283 metre-high Old Shiveluch.