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    PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, January 10, 2004 (RIA Novosti correspondent Oksana Guseva) -- A 7,000-metre ash column rose overnight from the crater of one of the Kamchatka Peninsula's numerous volcanoes, Karymsky, experts on the Kamchatka seismological party report.

    Last night's violent expulsion from the Karymsky volcano was witnessed by the pilots of a YaK-40 jet as they were flying over the site. The resultant cloud of hot ash stretched many miles southwestward.

    Volcanic activity poses a serious threat to aircraft pilots, tourists, hunters, and fishermen. If it gets into a jet's turbines, volcanic ash may cause a major breakdown. It also impairs visibility, making safe navigation a challenge.

    The Karymsky volcano, measuring 1,500 meters in absolute height, began to erupt on January 2, 1996. Hot volcanic material was then emitted from two vents, one at the volcano's summit and the other on the floor of Lake Karymsky. All life in the lake was killed as a result. There have been sporadic summit eruptions ever since.

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