VLADIVOSTOK/PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, February 14 (RIA Novosti) – Emergencies Ministry officials on Thursday dismissed a scientist's claim that lava flowing from the ongoing eruption at the Plosky Tolbachik volcano in Russia's Far Eastern Kamchatka Peninsula might threaten a nearby research site.
Yaroslav Muravyov, a scientist based at the Tolud volcanologists' research site next to the volcano, reported on Wednesday to the Kamchatka volcano observatory that the lava flow had closed to within 2.7 kilometers (1.7 miles) of the site.
“The lava keeps on moving,” the observatory, located some 60 kilometers (36 miles) from the foot of the volcano, said in a report.
The regional branch of the Emergencies Ministry dismissed the report on Thursday and said the moving lava poses no threat to scientists monitoring the volcanic eruption.
“The lava flow is not a hazard to the research site as it is located on the other side of the brook flowing into the Tolud River,” Emergencies Ministry officials reported in a statement. “Due to the specifics of the terrain, if the tongue of lava reaches that brook, it will follow it downstream, bypassing the site,” it said.
The 3,085-meter Plosky Tolbachik volcano, located 343 kilometers (217 miles) from the region's capital of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, began erupting on November 27 for the first time in 36 years.
Kamchatka is one of the most volcanically-active areas in the world according to UNESCO, with 29 active volcanos.