Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Another volcano erupts in Far East Russia

A second volcano has erupted on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia's Far East, spewing out ash up to an altitude of 10 kilometers (6 miles), a local seismology center spokesman said Tuesday.
The village of Kluchy, which is 50 kilometers (31 miles) away from the Shiveluch volcano, was covered in ash, and volcanic tremors were registered in the area, the spokesman said.

Shiveluch, the northernmost active volcano on Kamchatka, is the second to erupt on the Pacific peninsula in two days.

The outburst of the Bezymyanny volcano, which is about 100 kilometers (62 miles) from Shiveluch, resulted in a plume, stretching for up to 700 kilometers (435 miles) to the Pacific, and also covered Kluchy in ash.

Official have instructed local residents to avoid leaving their homes because particles of volcanic ash hanging in the air could cause poisoning and serious diseases.

Experts said the outbursts are not linked as the volcanoes belong to different magma chambers and their almost simultaneous eruptions are a coincidence.

According to experts, there are more than 150 volcanoes on Kamchatka, 29 of them active.
Volcano's activity has recently increased on the Kamchatka peninsula.

Experts registered up to 450 minor quakes daily near Karymsky, Kamchatka's most active volcano in the southeast of the peninsula, which rises to 1,536 metres (5,039 feet) above sea level.
This year more than 1,200 people, including 542 children, were evacuated from the north of Kamchatka after a series of earthquakes. The first 7.8-magnitude quake, the strongest in the Koryak Autonomous Area in the north of the peninsula since 1900, injured 31 people on April 21. It also damaged about 380 houses and 25 administrative facilities in four other towns.

Experts from the Moscow International Institute for Earthquake Prediction and Computing Geophysics earlier said there was a 30% probability that an earthquake of more than 7.2 will hit Kamchatka in December.

Since August, all regional rescue services have been put on high alert and a Rescue Center mobile hospital has been set up in the region.

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