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Volcano Erupts After Lying Dormant for 37 Years

A volcano on the far eastern Kamchatka Peninsula has erupted, spraying ash and dust over neighboring towns and disrupting air traffic.

Inhabitants of the Kamchatka region towns of Lazo and Kozyrevsk reported seeing lava glowing at the summit of the Plosky Tolbachik volcano late Tuesday night, according to Itar-Tass.

The ash cloud from the volcano's crater could reach five kilometers into the air, Vesti television reported, adding that the current eruption poses no danger to nearby towns.

Local police have asked residents of the town of Maiskoye 50 kilometers from the volcano to shut all windows and doors and stay inside, citing potential respiratory problems from falling volcanic dust, according to a statement on their website.

Itar-Tass reported that local pilots have had to divert flights, since volcanic ash can affect aircraft engines. Plosky Tolbachik has been assigned an orange aviation color code, meaning "heightened activity with increased likelihood of eruption."

Plosky Tolbachik stands at 3,085 meters above sea level and lies 343 kilometers from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky. It last erupted in 1975 and has been under constant observation by geologists ever since.

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