Russia: Shiveluch volcano eruption covers villages in ash

The Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team, which monitors eruptions in the region, issued an air code red after the eruption, reporting that the ash cloud had drifted hundreds of kilometers north and southwest of Shiveluch

by Lorenzo Ciotti
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Russia: Shiveluch volcano eruption covers villages in ash

In Russia, more precisely in Kamchatka, the Shiveluch volcano exploded throwing a cloud of ash over a vast swathe of territory. The Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team, which monitors eruptions in the region, issued an air code red after the eruption, reporting that the ash cloud had drifted hundreds of kilometers north and southwest of Shiveluch.

The Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team explained: "The volcano's effusive eruption continues. Ash explosions up to 15 km high could occur at any time. Ongoing activity could affect international and low-flying aircraft." A video of the eruption posted on Telegram by the head of the Ust-Kamchatsky local administration, Oleg Bondarenko, shows a wall of thick gray ash billowing from one end of the horizon to the other.

Russia: Shiveluch volcano eruption covers villages in ash

Bondarenko said local residents have been advised to stay at home, not to leave their homes unnecessarily. Shiveluch is 60,000 to 70,000 years old and is one of the largest volcanoes in Kamchatka.

The Kamchatka peninsula is sparsely populated, it is estimated that less than 12,000 people live within a radius of 100 kilometers of the volcano. In the published videos it seems to be witnessing an anomalous snowfall in the city of Ust-Kamchatsky, about 90 kilometers from the volcano.

Instead it is light colored volcanic dust, scattered everywhere. A column of ash 20 kilometers high, as reported by the Moscow Times. The Klyuchi village, 50 km south of the volcano, was covered in a thick blanket of this mineral residue.

There are over 300 volcanoes on the Russian Far Eastern Peninsula, 29 of which are active. It is an area where there are frequent eruptions. Experts report that there are one or two a year. But a similar phenomenon hasn't been seen since 1964, the scientists say.

A blanket of 8.5 centimeters has already fallen, but the ash continues to arrive, Alexei Ozerov, director of the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology, told local media. Below you can watch the video of the dramatic explosion: