• The tallest active volcano in Eurasia has erupted
  • Plumes of ash from the eruption reached almost 20,000 feet
  • The aviation code of the volcano is currently at orange level

The highest and possibly most dangerous volcano in Russia has erupted on Monday. According to a local agency, the eruption sent towering plumes of steam and ash into the sky.

The volcano that recently erupted in Russia is known as Klyuchevskaya Sopka. It is classified as a stratovolcano, which means it has a distinct cone shape that was formed by multiple layers of hardened lava.

According to scientists, Klyuchevskaya Sopka is known as the highest mountain on the Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia. Due to its status and elevation of about 15,580 feet, it is regarded as the tallest active volcano in Russia.

Klyuchevskaya Sopka was formed about 6,000 years ago. Its first recorded eruption occurred in 1697. As noted by scientists, Klyuchevskaya Sopka’s active status has triggered other neighboring volcanoes such as Bezymianny, Karymsky, Kizimen, Shiveluch and Tolbachik. Many of these volcanoes have maintained their active statuses following Klyuchevskaya Sopka’s first eruption.

On Monday, Russia’s Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT) reported that Klyuchevskaya Sopka had an explosive eruption. Although the eruption was only classified as moderate, the team noted that the volcano produced volcanic clouds filled with ash and steam that were about 18,040 to 19,680 feet.

According to KVERT’s report, the plume generated by the volcano has started traveling westward. The latest report indicated that the plume has already traveled about 9 miles from the volcano.

Ash fall was not detected in the populated areas near the volcano. However, the town of Kozyrevsk in Kamchatka Krai will most likely experience ash fall since it is in the direct path of the volcanic plume.

Due to the volcano’s latest eruption, KVERT raised its aviation code to orange, which is the second-highest warning level. This means that Klyuchevskaya Sopka is still in danger of erupting and when it does, it could produce volcanic plumes that are high enough to affect the operations of passing aircraft.

“A moderate explosive eruption of the volcano continues. Ash explosions up to 16,400-23,000 ft (5-7 km) a.s.l. could occur at any time. Ongoing activity could affect low-flying aircraft,” KVERT stated.

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An ash plume rises from the Halemaʻumaʻu crater within the Kilauea volcano summit caldera at the Hawaii Volcanoes National Park on May 9, 2018. Mario Tama/Getty Images