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    PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, March 17, 2004. (RIA-Novosti) - The crater of the Shiveluch volcano, which is the northernmost active Kamchatka volcano, started spewing ashes to a height of up to 2.5 km, reports the Kamchatka experimental-methodological seismological group. (The Kamchatka Peninsula is located in the Russian Far East).

    The March 16 volcanic-ash eruptions were accompanied by long-duration surface earthquakes and avalanches. Ash clouds stretched for 75 km east of the volcano.

    Seismic stations continue to register sporadic volcanic tremors in the active-dome area.

    The Shiveluch volcano, which towers 3,283 meters above sea level, remained dormant for quite a while, roaring back to life January 11, 2004.

    The volcano doesn't threaten nearby populated localities so far; however, its activity can cause mud flows. Such mud flows have repeatedly eroded a local road in the past.

    Ash clouds and emissions threaten aircraft because volcanic-ash particles can damage aircraft engines; moreover, unexpected eruptions make navigation more difficult.

    The largest and most disastrous Shiveluch eruptions take place every 100-300 years. The most recent eruptions were registered in 1854 and 1964, respectively. Meanwhile weak and medium-force eruptions happen much more often.

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