Ash clouds ejected by Kamchatka's Shiveluch volcano rise 2.5 km

Shiveluch, the northernmost of active volcanoes in Kamchatka (Russian Far East) is ejecting ash clouds to the height of 2.5 kilometers.

A spokesperson for the Kamchatka seismological station told RIA Novosti that two powerful eruptions had occurred on Saturday with an interval of 17 hours. The eruptions were accompanied by surface earthquakes lasting about three minutes each.

Adverse weather conditions hinder observation of the volcano, yet the seismologists believe that the eruptions have caused massive avalanches of debris.

The seismological stations located in the area keep registering continuous volcanic tremors as well as weak but extensive surface earthquakes.

Shiveluch, towering 3,383 meters over sea level, woke up on 11 January after a long pause in activity.

At present, the volcano poses no threat to local residents. At the same time, the eruptions threaten to disrupt traffic on the peninsula's roads. In the past, mudflows sliding down the giant volcano's slopes repeatedly washed out the Klyuchi - Ust-Kamchatsk motor road.

Catastrophic eruptions take place at Shiveluch every 100-300 years, with the latest registered in 1854 and 1964. Weak and medium eruptions occur there much more frequently.

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