The Klyuchevskaya Sopka and Shiveluch volcanoes on Russia’s volcanically active Kamchatka Peninsula are threatening major eruptions, posing a potential risk for nearby populated towns as well as overhead aviation.
Following a six-mile high plume of ash shooting out of Shiveluch over the weekend, volcanologists are reported to have seen explosions and pyroclastic flows descending from Klyuchevskaya Sopka as well. The two volcanoes have subsequently been spewing ash and lava continuously - a telltale sign preempting major eruptions.
The Kamchatka peninsula in eastern Russia is home to 30 active volcanoes, and is a part of a vast belt prone to eruptions and frequent earthquakes circling the Pacific Ocean known as the "Ring of Fire".
Most of the peninsula's volcanoes are surrounded by sparsely populated forest and tundra, so pose little risk to local people, but big eruptions can spew glass, rock and ash into the sky, threatening aircraft.
The Shiveluch Volcano in Kamchatka (remember your Risk boards, kids) is apparently brewing for an eruption. Scientists are advising people to stay at least 10 miles away. The photos are awesome. https://t.co/ShlFcxziPy pic.twitter.com/IvYvug8JJ3— Kevin Rothrock (@KevinRothrock) November 20, 2022
Though Kamchatka is sparsely populated, the town of Klyuchi, with a mere 5,000 people, is the nearest populated stretch of land that lies between the two volcanoes, around 30-50 kilometres from each. The nearest major city, Petropavlosk-Kamchatsky, is 450 kilometres away from the volcanoes.
The Russian Academy of Sciences’ Volcanology Institute monitors volcanic activity in Kamchatka regularly. According to the institute,
The Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team has observed,
The two Russian volcanoes will soon join a list of 2022 volcanic eruptions, the most notable of which (save for Mount Doom in The Rings of Power) occurred near Tonga Island in the South Pacific on January 15 this year.
The Hunga Tonga volcanic eruption is the 21st century's most explosive volcanic eruption. Here are some details from the eruption:
Earlier this year, a volcano in the South Pacific erupted so ferociously that it was heard from AK, 6,000 mi away. It unleashed a global tsunami and atmospheric pressure waves that zipped around Earth. But much of what happened has been a mystery. 🧵 pic.twitter.com/vExN4LOo0z— Maya Wei-Haas, Ph.D. (@WeiPoints) November 21, 2022
The Hunga Tonga volcanic eruption measured a 5 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index (VEI).
With indices running from 0 to 8, the VEI associated with an eruption is dependent on how much volcanic material is thrown out, to what height, and how long the eruption lasts. An increase of 1 index indicates an eruption that is 10 times as powerful.
Verdict’s still out on the explosive capacities of the Klyuchevskaya Sopka and Shiveluch volcanoes.
Meanwhile, in the US...
Please stop DMing us asking us to "wake up Mount Rainier just a lil" to clear space in the queue for Taylor Swift tickets.— Washington State Dept. of Natural Resources (@waDNR) November 15, 2022
We have a strict standing policy of not taunting the volcanoes.