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    SHIVELUCH VOLCANO EMITS 130 KM -LONG ASH PLUME OVER KAMCHATKA

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    PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, 24 January, 2004. /RIA Novosti correspondent/. -The ash plume caused by eruption of the Shiveluch volcano in Kamchatka (Russia's Far East) has stretched out for 130 kilometers.

    A spokesperson for the Kamchatka seismological centre told RIA Novosti that over the past 24 hours the peninsula's northernmost volcano kept bursting out gas and ash to the height of up to 3,000 meters. A thick ash plume has stretched out 130 kilometers and is flowing southeast.

    Seismological stations set up in the neighbourhood of the volcano continue to register multiple surface vibrations in the active cupola area.

    At the height of 3,283 meters, the Shiveluch is one of the largest volcanoes in Kamchatka. The period of its relative calm ended on 11 January when it suddenly erupted.

    Eruption is also under way at the 4,833-meter-tall Kluchevskaya Sopka, Eurasia's largest volcano. Ash outbursts from its crater are accompanied by successive minor surface quakes and continuous spasmodic volcano vibrations.

    These vibrations are hampering effective monitoring of the nearby Bezymyanny volcano.

    About 150 local surface earthquakes are being registered daily in the cupola area of the Karymsky volcano. Ash outbursts here reach as high as 1,500 meters.

    None of the local towns or villages is currently endangered by the eruptions.

    At the same time, volcanic ash outbursts and plumes may endanger local air traffic. When sucked into a plane's turbine engine, particles of volcanic ash may cause malfunction of the aircraft's vital systems, whereas sporadic ash outbursts seriously impede air navigation.

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