Experts downplay Russian volcanic eruption

Feb. 17, 2007 at 2:25 PM
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PETROPAVLOVSK-KAMCHATSKY, Russia, Feb. 17 (UPI) -- Russian officials say the eruption of a volcano poses no immediate threat to Kamchatka Peninsula populations.

The Kluchevskaya Sopka volcano, Eurasia's tallest active volcano, beginning to erupt Saturday morning, but officials from the Russian Academy of Sciences Geophysical Service promptly said it poses no threat to area populations, Itar-Tass reported.

Despite causing hundreds of tremors throughout the area and having ejected clouds of steam and ash, the eruption has been tabbed a weak version by officials.

"No lava flows on the volcano's slopes are seen," one scientist said.

But experts warn the eruption could increase in activity, and within the coming month its lava lake could overflow and enhance the situation's level of danger.

Such a situation occurred back in early 2005, when lava ran down the volcano's sides for more than 1.4 miles and volcanic bombs were launched up to 3,280 feet into the air.

Itar-Tass said eruptions occur at Kluchevskaya Sopka up to once every six years and therefore it is monitored on a regular basis.

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