Thursday 27 June 2013

New eruption on Mount Shiveluch.

Mount Shiveluch, a volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East, underwent a major eruption on Thursday 27 June 2013, according to the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team. The eruption started at about 7.10 am local time (7.10 pm on Wednesday 26 June, GMT), and produced an ash column reaching 10 km into the air, accompanied by about 40 minutes of tectonic activity (Earthquakes). There have been ashfalls in the villages of Klyuchi and Lazo, 50 km and 156 km away from the volcano respectively, and while local authorities are not anticipating any hazard to life, they have distributed gas-masks and are asking people to remain indoors as a precaution.

Ash from the Shiveluch eruption. Damir Shakurov/NovostiTV.

The volcano has been producing lava flows throughout May and June, and has produced ash column twice in June 2013 - something it typically does several times a year. Ash from Shiveluch last reached the closest settlement, Ust-Kamchatsk, 85 km to the southeast, in October 2010, when an explosive eruption also destroyed much of a lava dome that had formed on the volcano, forming a new crater at the summit.

Shiveluch is the northernmost of 30 active volcanoes on the Kamchatka peninsula, fueled by the subduction of the Pacific Plate beneath the Okhotsk Plate, upon which the Kamchatka Peninsula is located. As the Pacific Plate sinks into the Earth it is partially melted by the heat and pressure of the planet's interior. Some of the melted material then rises through the overlying Okhotsk Plate, fueling the volcanoes of the Kamchatka Peninsula.

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