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Ash from Shiveluch Volcano Eruption in Russia Covers Nearby Villages

Volcanic ash covering the ground in Ust-Kamchatsky district after the Shiveluch volcano’s eruption in Russia on 11 April

Associated Press/Alamy Stock Photo

The Shiveluch volcano, one of Russia’s most active, has erupted, ejecting a significant amount of ash that has covered nearby villages and raised concerns for aviation.

Situated in the country’s far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula, the eruption began shortly after midnight on April 11, sending a massive cloud of smoke and ash into the sky. This is the volcano’s first major eruption since 2007.

Reports indicate that up to 8.5 centimeters of volcanic ash has settled in the village of Klyuchi.

According to Danila Chebrov, the director of Russia’s Kamchatka branch of the Geophysical Survey, the ash reached a height of 20 kilometers, moving westwards and significantly affecting the neighboring villages.


However, the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) reported that the plume only reached 8 kilometers above sea level.

If the plume had reached 20 kilometers high, it could have entered the stratosphere, potentially having implications for global climate. Volcanic gases such as sulphur dioxide can quickly condense in the stratosphere, leading to the formation of sulphate aerosols. These aerosols reflect more of the sun’s radiation back into space, resulting in a short-term cooling effect.

The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines in 1991 sent an ash cloud 19 kilometers into the atmosphere. This caused a cooling effect on Earth’s surface for three years, with peak impacts lowering temperatures by up to 0.7°C, as reported by the US Geological Survey.

Due to the ongoing eruption of Shiveluch, KVERT has issued a code red notice for aviation, warning that ash explosions up to 15 kilometers high “could occur at any time” and potentially affect international and low-flying aircraft.

Videos shared on social media show ash covering roads and cars in Ust-Kamchatsky, a district located about 90 kilometers from the volcano.

The Kamchatka Peninsula is renowned for its high concentration of volcanic activity and is often referred to as the “land of fire and ice.” It is home to 29 active volcanoes including Shiveluch, which has erupted approximately 60 times in the past 10,000 years.

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