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3/14/2007

Kamchatka volcano warnings go offline

Volcanic News: Alaska, USA

Image: Ash cloud from Klyuchevskoy Volcano crosses air traffic lanes on Oct. 1, 1994 (USGS KVERT Fact Sheet)


March 12, 2007
A Russian volcano network that warned airliners winging over the North Pacific of potential hazards went silent March 1 due to budget cuts, increasing the risk that aircraft could enter undetected ash clouds and experience sudden catastrophic engine failure during a trans-ocean flight. Without alerts issued by the Kamchatkan Volcanic Eruption Response Team, jetliners flying between North America and Asia could get little or no warning if any of the 29 active volcanoes on the Kamchatka Peninsula erupt and send ash clouds roiling into air traffic lanes, particularly during bad weather or other conditions where satellite coverage was unable to pinpoint the plume. Satellite data alone is insufficient to always catch an eruption before an ash cloud becomes a hazard to planes. This unfortunate event comes at a time when three volcanoes in Kamchatka are at Color Code Orange and intermittently producing ash. The volcanoes produce ash that threatens air traffic lanes three or four times every year.



VOLCANOES
Photo: Ubinas taken March 31, 2006
PERU - the Ubinas volcano, located in Southern Peru’s region of Moquegua, is showing “a considerable activity reduction” during the last six months. Almost a year ago, on March 25th, 2006,the volcano began emitting a plume of ash, gas and steam that covered local villages, damaged crops, and killed farm animals. Farmers from the area were later evacuated and relocated. Frequent explosions continued over the next months. “Right now we cannot say what will happen, we can only hope for the best. Its seismic activity could soon be over or return. We simply don’t know yet.”
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