An intense Russian volcano eruption on Tuesday enveloped the adjacent communities as ash and dust rose into the stratosphere, according to Reuters.
Authorities were forced to issue a caution to air traffic as a result of the explosion of ashes that rose as high as 20 kilometres in the air.
On the Pacific Ocean’s Kamchatka Peninsula, about 300,000 people reside approximately 6,800 kilometres east of Moscow.
A code red Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation was released by the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT). Ash explosions 15km (9.32 miles) high were also mentioned as being possible at any time.
“Ongoing activity could affect international and low-flying aircraft”, the team noted.
Thankfully, no casualties were reported as a result of the Russian volcano eruption today.
The Kamchatka Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences Geophysical Survey mentioned that the Shiveluch volcano erupted just after midnight reaching a crescendo about six hours later, spewing out an ash cloud over an area of 108,000 square kilometres (41,699 square miles).
The eruption caused the lava — molten rock — to come out of the volcano. The warnings of mudflows along a nearby highway were also issued amid the tumbling lava.
The villages were covered with grey ashes as deep as 8.5 centimetres which were not seen in 60 years.
Danila Chebrov, director of the Kamchatka branch of the Geophysical Survey said that “The ash reached 20km high, the ash cloud moved westwards and there was a very strong fall of ash on nearby villages.”
“The volcano was preparing for this for at least a year… and the process is continuing though it has calmed a little now,” Chebrov `added.
Chebrov also noted that “The volcano would probably calm now while cautioning that further major ash clouds could not be excluded.”
Chebrov said the lava flows should not reach local villages.
Scientists also noted that the volcano was still erupting 15 hours after the eruption.
Thumbnail image shows a plume of steam and gas billows from the Cotopaxi volcano as seen from Quito on Tuesday. — AFP