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    PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, January 11 (RIA Novosti correspondent Oksana Guseva/) - An ashfall began in a number of settlements in the Kamchatka peninsula (Russia's Far East) due to the increased activity of the Shiveluch volcano.

    A trail of the Shiveluch volcano ashes, caused by its recent eruption, stretched for more than 100 km to the southeast and covered the village of Ust-Kamchatsk, Chief Research Assistant of the Institute of Volcanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences Aleksei Ozerov said. There is a slight ashfall in the village at the present.

    Powerful blasts continue to take place in the volcano crater. The height of the ash cloud, caused by one of the most powerful blast, reached 4,000 meters. The blasts are followed by pyroclastic and lava streams along the slopes of the volcano.

    According to Ozerov, such powerful volcano's activity hasn't been observed since 2002. Only weak and infrequent eruptions of the volcano occurred for the last two years.

    The glutinous lava cupola continues to grow and is now 500m high.

    The ashes pose a serious danger to airplanes on route along the Kamchatka's eastern coast.

    Considering the explosive characteristics of the volcano, the cupola can be damaged. This would result in a serious danger to the living localities and transportation lines, situated at the foot of the gigantic volcano. The transportation road Klyuchi - Ust-Kamchatsk had been repeatedly washed away by mudflows, streaming down the slopes of the Shiveluch volcano.

    The Shiveluch volcano is the northernmost of the active volcanoes in Kamchatka and is one of the largest - its height is 3,283 meters above the sea level.

    The major and catastrophic eruptions of the Shiveluch volcano occur every 100-300 years. The most recent major eruptions were registered in 1854 and 1964. Weak and medium power eruptions occur more often on the volcano.

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