The Klyuchevskoi volcano erupting in Russia's Kamchatka spewed an ash plume to an altitude of 7.5 kilometers on Monday, the press service for the regional branch of the Emergency Situations Ministry said.
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"The ash plume is stretching northeast towards the Ozyorny Bay. The town of Ust-Kamchatsk and the village of Krutoberegovo in the Ust-Kamchatsk municipal district are on its way. There may be a minor ash fall there," the press service said.
No ash fall has been reported for now, the press service said, adding that no tourist groups were seen in the volcano's vicinity either.
The ash plume stretches for 60 kilometers, a statement on the website of the Kamchatka volcanic eruption monitoring group of the Volcanology and Seismology Institute of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Far Eastern branch says.
Earlier, seismologists said that a major eruption of Klyuchevskoi was possible, as the seismological stations nearby were recording numerous volcanic quakes and spasmodic volcanic tremors of increasing intensity.
"In the near future, we should expect an increase in the volcano's explosive activity, up to a paroxysmal eruption. In this case, the height of the ash column could reach 12 kilometers, lava flows could stretch for several kilometers, and long mudslides are possible from the melting glacier.
"Falling ash could be several millimeters thick in nearby communities," the Kamchatka branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Joint Geophysical Service said on Friday.
The branch asked local residents and tourists to stay away from the volcano and its vicinity, "considering that the possible pyroclastic flows make Klyuchevskoi's slopes even more dangerous."
The Klyuchevskoi volcano's eruption began in June 2023. Before this, the volcano erupted between fall 2020 and August 2021.
An orange aviation hazard code has been assigned to Klyuchevskoi, which means its ash could pose a threat to low-flying aircraft.
Klyuchevskoi is an active volcano in eastern Kamchatka. It is 4,850 meters tall and situated 360 kilometers away from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky.
The town of Klyuchi is located on the volcano's slope, 30 kilometers from the top. Klyuchevskoi is one of the most active volcanos in the world. ■