The highest active volcano in Eurasia, Klyuchevskaya Sopka, erupted on Wednesday, resulting in a significant amount of ash floating in Russia’s Kamchatka Peninsula. This marks the third eruption of the volcano in the past year, with previous eruptions occurring in April and June of 2023. The volcano’s activity forced the closure of schools in two towns on the sparsely populated peninsula.
Officials reported that the ash plume reached a height of 13 kilometers (8 miles) above sea level following the eruption. Fortunately, no injuries were reported in the area. As a precautionary measure, authorities ordered the closure of schools in the towns of Ust-Kamchatsk and Klyuchy, both of which have a population of approximately 5000. Klyuchy is situated about 30 kilometers (20 miles) from the volcano, while Ust-Kamchatsk is located 50 kilometers (30 miles) away.
Klyuchevskaya Sopka is a stratovolcano and holds the distinction of being the highest mountain in Siberia as well as the highest active volcano in Eurasia. It stands at an impressive height of 4,650 meters (15,255 feet) and first appeared approximately 7000 years ago. Geologists have documented 110 eruptions from this volcano during the Holocene Epoch.
The volcano’s location on the Kamchatka Peninsula showcases a region known for its active and dormant volcanoes, geysers, and geothermal springs. The peninsula extends about 6,700 kilometers (4,100 miles) east of Moscow and into the Pacific Ocean.
Russian authorities had predicted the eruption of Klyuchevskaya Sopka on November 1 after observing increased activity at the volcano on October 30. Strombolian-type eruptions had been ongoing since October 11, including several explosive eruptions between October 27 and 30. Currently, no further eruptions are predicted, but residents have been cautioned to avoid approaching the eruption site.