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Volcano Activity in Kamchatka Poses Risk to Russian Air Traffic

Dark lava flow descending the eastern flank of snow-mantled summit lava dome of Bezymianny volcano in Kamchatka in Sept. 1990.

At least four volcanoes in the Far Eastern region of Kamchatka are showing signs of increased activity, and their ash plumes could pose a risk to air traffic, the Emergency Situations Ministry has warned.

Since the start of the year, 57 emissions of volcanic ash have been registered in Kamchatka, and four major volcanoes — Shiveluch, Karymsky, Zhupanovsky, and Bezymianny — continue to show signs of heightened activity, the ministry's regional branch said Monday in an online statement.

"These giants could at any moment emit ash plumes up to 10 kilometers high, and the clouds could present a danger to flights along international and local routes," the statement said.

The ministry also said it had told travel companies about the potential hazards of touring the area, and warned travel operators and local residents to avoid venturing close to the volcanoes.

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