A cloud of ash 40 km. by 20 km. (25 x 12.5 miles) has issued from the crater of the Shiveluch volcano on the isolated Russian Kamchatka Peninsula along the Bering Sea, and the column of ash pouring from the volcano reaches 7.7 km. (4.8 miles) above sea level today, Gazeta.ru reports.
The volcano is one of the most active and the northernmost of about 30 live volcanoes on the peninsula. Its eruption has been going on for more than a year, and has gained momentum in the last month and a half. More than 170 localized earthquakes have also been reported at the volcano.
The nearest settlement to the volcano is the village of Klyuchi, 50 km. (31 miles) away. It has a population of 5000 and is not considered endangered by the volcano. Aviation may be disrupted by the eruption, however, RIA Novosti notes. The volcano’s ash, which may fall and cover hundreds of square kilometers in a thin layer, is an irritant to humans and animals. The last major eruption of the volcano was in 1964. It also erupted in 1980-1981, 1993-1995 and 2001-2002.
Kamchatka is also the site of numerous geysers.