WATCH: Violent volcano ashes in Russia covered villages, close air traffic

An eruption of a violent volcano in Russia on Tuesday in the far eastern peninsula of Kamchatka covered the nearby villages as the ash and dust made their way out to the atmosphere, Reuters reported.

The violent eruption of ashes went as high as 20 kilometres in the air forcing authorities to trigger a warning to air traffic.

Around 300,000 people live Kamchatka peninsula — about 6,800km east of Moscow — which is located on the Pacific Ocean.

A view shows cars covered in volcanic dust following the eruption of the Shiveluch volcano in the settlement of Klyuchi on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia April 11, 2023. — Reuters
A view shows cars covered in volcanic dust following the eruption of the Shiveluch volcano in the settlement of Klyuchi on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia April 11, 2023. — Reuters

Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) issued a code red Volcano Observatory Notice for Aviation. It also noted that ash explosions 15km (9.32 miles) high could occur at any time.

“Ongoing activity could affect international and low-flying aircraft”, the team noted.

As a result of the volcano eruption, no causalities were reported.

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).

A view shows a street covered in volcanic dust following the eruption of the Shiveluch volcano in the settlement of Klyuchi on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia April 11, 2023. — Reuters
 A view shows a street covered in volcanic dust following the eruption of the Shiveluch volcano in the settlement of Klyuchi on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia April 11, 2023. — Reuters

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.

A view shows a street covered in volcanic dust following the eruption of the Shiveluch volcano in the settlement of Klyuchi on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia April 11, 2023. — Reuters
A view shows a street covered in volcanic dust following the eruption of the Shiveluch volcano in the settlement of Klyuchi on the Kamchatka Peninsula, Russia April 11, 2023. — Reuters

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.

Warnings after volcano eruption in Russia

Head of the Ust-Kamchatsky municipal region Oleg Bondarenko said in a Telegram post that Amid the eruption, some schools on the peninsula were closed and residents were ordered to stay indoors.

Bondarenko was of the view that “Because of what I have just seen here with my own eyes, it will be impossible for children to go to school, and in general, the presence of children here is questionable.”

He also added that the power has been restored and the drinking water has been supplied.

An estimate suggested that there have been 60 substantial eruptions in the past 10,000 years among which the major one was in 2007.

According to Reuters, it has two main parts, the smaller of which — Young Shiveluch — scientists have reported as being extremely active in recent months, with a peak of 2,800 metres (9,186 feet) that protrudes out of the 3,283 metre-high Old Shiveluch.

Kamchatka hosts about 160 volcanoes but only some of them are active. The volcanoes in Kamchatka are on the list of UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites.

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