An extinct volcano that has awoken in Far East Russia could unleash destruction not seen since the ancient Roman city of Pompeii was destroyed by volcanic eruption nearly 2,000 years ago, scientists warn.
Geophysicists said in new research that increased seismicity and “magma intrusions” measured at the Bolshaya Udina volcano since late 2017 justify its reclassification from “extinct” to “active.”
The “catastrophic” amount of ash that would spread from the long-dormant volcano in the Kamchatka region could wreak havoc far beyond Russia if the volcano erupts, said Ivan Kulakov, the study’s lead author.
“Remember Pompeii: The awakening of Vesuvius was preceded by a lull of several thousand years. And the eruption in 1600 in Peru led to cooling in Europe and hunger in Russia,” Kulakov was quoted as saying Wednesday.
He compared the potential Bolshaya Udina eruption to the gigantic 1956 eruption of the Bezymianny volcano, which was also thought to be extinct until then.
It is impossible to predict when or whether Bolshaya Udina would erupt, Kulakov told the Russian Academy of Sciences’ weekly publication in Siberia. Around 60 percent of the world’s seismically active volcanoes end up erupting, the outlet reported.