Russia’s Shivulech volcano could burst into ‘powerful eruption’ any time

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Russia’s Shiveluch volcano is under extremely high activity and a powerful explosion can occur at any time, the Kamchatka volcanic eruption response team has warned.

The country’s most active volcano and one of the largest in the Russian far East recorded a volcanic ash plume rising up to around 13000ft altitude on Saturday, according to the observatory.

“A growth of the lava dome continues, a strong fumaroles activity, an incandescence of the lava dome, explosions, and hot avalanches accompanies this process,” the observatory said on Sunday.

“Ash explosions up to 10-15kms (9.32 miles) … could occur at any time. Ongoing activity could affect international and low-flying aircraft.”

The dom of the volcano has become very hot and glows at night, Alexei Ozerov, the director of the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology of the Far East Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences, told Russian state media RIA.

“At night, the dome glows almost over its entire surface. Hot avalanches with a temperature of 1000 degrees Celsius (1,832°F) roll down the slopes, pyroclastic flows descend.

“This state of the dome is observed, as a rule, before a powerful paroxysmal eruption.”

The most powerful eruption that took place last on Shiveluch was recorded in 2009, according to Nasa.

Shiveluch, one of Kamchatka’s largest volcanoes, has its summit reaching 3,283m (10,771ft). It is also one of the peninsula’s most active ones, with an estimated 60 large eruptions in the past 10,000 years.

“Catastrophic eruptions took place in 1854 and 1956, when a large part of the lava dome collapsed and created a devastating debris avalanche,” the observatory said.

It erupted in October 2010, spewing ashes to a height of 10kms above sea level. The ash plumes from the volcano covered the settlement of Ust-Kamchatsky, about 90km away.

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