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Kamchatka Volcano Threatens Air Traffic September 2, 2011
Satellite Image
Ash blasting from Shiveluch volcano in early August.
Far East Russia’s Shiveluch volcano spewed ash high into the atmosphere over the Kamchatka Peninsula, as well as into key international air traffic routes across the North Pacific.

One column of ash on Monday reached an altitude of more than five miles, posing a threat to aircraft.

Russia’s National Geophysical Service said that ash discharges from Shiveluch increased in intensity and volumn over the weekend, and were punctuated by Monday’s blast.

The closest human settlement to the volcano’s crater is about 30 miles away.

Shiveluch was relatively dormant for a few decades before it started to show signs of renewed unrest in 2006. Its last major eruption was in 1964.

It is one of a string of volcanoes situated along the Kamchatka Peninsula, one of the world’s most active seismic zone.

The latest blast occurred as an international workshop on seismic hazards was underway in the Kamchatka city of Petropavlovsk.

Photo: Yu. Demyanchuk - Inst. of Volcanology and Seismology