The Ivan Groznyy (“Ivan the Terrible”) volcano erupted early on Thursday morning on the island of Iturup, part of the Kuril group in Russia's Far East.
The volcano spewed a column of ash onto the surrounding area. Local people in the nearest towns, Goryachiye Klyuchi (9 kilometers away) and the city of Kurilsk (25 kilometers), noticed a faint smell of hydrogen sulfide gas, which disappeared later.
The eruption poses no threat to nearby human settlements.
Scientists recorded signs of the impending eruption on Wednesday, when gas emissions on the volcano’s northeast slope increased, a Sakhalin region Emergency Ministry representative told RIA Novosti. Observation of the volcano continues.
Scientists say the eruption was started by recent torrential rain, causing a huge increase in the volume of water in underground channels around the volcano. Ivan Groznyy also erupted in 1968, 1973, and 1989, but none of the eruptions threatened life nearby.