Digital News Report- The Koryaksky Volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Eastern Russia has exploded sending ash 20,000 feet into the air. Scientists believe that an even more destructive eruption could occur in the near future posing greater risks for residents in the area and seriously disrupting air traffic. The Petropavlosvk-Kamchatsky Airport has been closed due to the hazards posed by the eruption.
In the past 24 hours, about 170 earthquakes have been felt in the nearby area. The region is known for its seismic activity as some of the largest earthquakes every recorded have taken place off the coast. The last large earthquake occurred on November 4th, 1952 and registered at an 8.2 on the Richter scale.
The Kamichatka Peninsula is home to over 150 volcanoes, but only 29 of them are considered active. Nineteen of the active volcanoes are included in the six UNESCO World Heritage List sites in the Volcanoes of Kamchatka group.
Koryaksky is part of the Pacific Ring of Fire. In the past 10,000 is has had major eruptions three times. Its last major eruption was in 1550 BC, which generated extensive lava flows. A small eruption occurred in 1956, Alexei Ozerov, the leading scientist of the Volcanology and Seismology Institute of Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Science, has said “the current eruption started in a more impetuous and powerful way.”
Due to the volcanoes close proximity to the town of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, which had a population of over 128,000 at the last census, it has been categorized as a Decade Volcano as part of the United Nations’ International Decade for Natural Disaster Reduction. Sixteen volcanoes from around the world are in the program, which is aimed at addressing the major strengths and weaknesses of risk mitigation at each site.