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Kamchatka Volcano Blasting Ash Up to 9km

Shiveluch volcano viewed from space, July 2007

Russia's northernmost active volcano is churning out ash to a height of up to 9,000 meters (29,500 feet) in the country's Far East, local scientists said Monday.

The 3,283-meter (10,771-foot) Shiveluch volcano increased activity in May 2009 and has been periodically spewing ash from three to ten kilometers.

"Video monitoring of the volcano was complicated due to poor weather conditions, but seismological stations registered over the past 24 hours almost 150 local seismic activities with the most continued one accompanied by a spew of ash up to a height of 6.9 kilometers, give or take 2.2 kilometers," a local department of the Geophysical Service with the Russian Academy of Sciences said in a statement.

Although the current eruption poses no immediate threat to nearby settlements, the ensuing ash fallouts could be hazardous to health and the environment.

The clouds of volcanic ash could also pose threat to air traffic because the tiny particles cause problems with aircraft engine turbines.

There are more than 150 volcanoes on Kamchatka and up to 30 of them active.

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