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Far East Russia Volcano Sprinkles City with Ash January 7, 2011
Kizimen
Kamchatka's Kizimen volcano produced its most forceful blast to date on New Year's Day.
Russia’s Kizimen volcano spewed towering columns of steam and debris over the Kamchatka Peninsula for a second week, blanketing the city of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky with a thin layer of ash, about 165 miles away.

Officials said the ash did not pose a threat to the health of local residents, but aircraft over the heavily traveled North Pacific air corridor were alerted to steer clear of ash plumes that at times stretched far from the volcano’s crater.

There were also concerns expressed for the health and safety of wildlife near Kizimen's crater.

"There is likely to increase mortality of animals in the area as a result of destruction of the respiratory system," said Vladimir Mosolov, Deputy Director for Science for the Kronotsky reserve.

Kizimen’s last major eruption occurred in the late 1920s, according to the RIA Novosti news agency.

The mountain started to rumble to life again last June, with fresh eruptive activity commencing about a month ago.

Photo: Ministry of Natural Resources (Russian Federation)