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Awe-inspiring pictures as Kambalny volcano awakens after 248 years

By Olga Gertcyk
28 March 2017

Scientists were taken by surprise as Kamchatka's southernmost volcano blows its top for first time since Catherine the Great ruled Russia.

Kambalny volcano awakens after 248 years. Picture: Kronotsky Reserve  

The snow-covered volcano awoke from its hibernation on Saturday provoking excitement among those lucky enough to witness this unexpected eruption, as ash was thrown 7 kilometres high.

Olga Girina, head of the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team (KVERT), said: 'This is the first serious volcanic event  at Kambalny in the modern history of scientific observations. 

'According to researchers, a strong eruption occurred 600 years ago. There is information about its increased activity about 250 years ago. We are keeping a close look at the volcano. It is difficult to say how the event will unfold.' 


We are keeping a close look at the volcano. It is difficult to say how the event will unfold.' Pictures: Kronotsky Reserve   

The ash cloud was between 5 and 6 km above sea level when she spoke 'but the trail extends thousands of kilometres already'. For now it is unclear about a lava outflow and whether the volcano will continue its activity or not.

'The most interesting and - at the same time - the most difficult for research is that the volcano did not erupt in historical time. And we cannot even assess, there is no experience of observation, or how it worked previously. That is, it was silent for several hundred years, woke up and now we can just observe how it works.' 

Ashes Ashes

Ash some 5 mm deep has fallen near the volcano. Pictures: Kronotsky Reserve   

Vasily Mitrinyuk, state inspector of Kronotsky Nature Reserve: 'I'm feeling full of energy and ready to continue watching Kambalny. This is one of the brightest events of my life.' 

Liana Varavskaya, a technician at  the reserve, said she sensed the volcano was coming back to life, although most scientists said it took them by surprise.
'When I saw a strong ash pole I wasn't afraid, quite the opposite,' she said. 'I was happy that I could witness such a marvellous natural phenomenon. 

'I was expecting that something should definitely happen and was given it, although there were no earthquake tremors, and no steam and gas above the volcano before the eruption. Now the volcano and ash cloud can be seen quite clearly.' 



Kambalny volcano

'When I saw a strong ash pole I wasn't afraid, quite the opposite. I was happy that I could witness such a marvellous natural phenomenon. Pictures: Kronotsky Reserve   

Pyotr Shpilenok, director of the reserve, said: 'We have witnessed an historical event. 

'Photographers and documentary-makers have a unique opportunity to take images of  Kambalny's eruption for the first time in history. It shouldn't be ruled out that ash fall will affect the ecosystems of the South Kamchatka reserve, where the volcano is located. Kurilskoye lake is Eurasia's largest spawning ground of red salmon. 

'Every year hundreds of brown bears gather on its shores during spawning. Employees of the reserve will continue constant monitoring of Kambalny and inform in a timely way about any changes.'  

Kambalny volcano erupts for first time since reign of Catherine the Great


Kambalny volcano erupts for first time since reign of Catherine the Great


Kambalny volcano erupts for first time since reign of Catherine the Great


Kambalny volcano erupts for first time since reign of Catherine the Great

Kambalny is located near the shore of the Sea of Okhotsk, north from the southernmost point of the peninsula, Cape Lopatka. It is 2,156 metres high (7,103 ft) and has five craters. Pictures: Igor Shpilenok, The Siberian Times 

Ash some 5 mm deep has fallen near the volcano. Kambalny is the southernmost active volcano of Kamchatka.

It is located near the shore of the Sea of Okhotsk, north from the southernmost point of the peninsula, Cape Lopatka. 

The volcano is 2,156 metres high (7,103 ft). The giant volcano has five craters.

Reports say that the last activity at the volcano was in 1769 when Catherine the Great was on the throne. There has been no threat to local settlements from the eruption.

Warnings have been issued to aviation services in the region. 



Comments (1)

There are so many things Nature can do on a whim; this is one of them. And it is indeed, "Beautiful".
Jaker, Dundalk
01/04/2017 12:04
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