Major eruption at Bezymianni volcano, ash to 15.2 km (50 000 feet), Aviation Color Code Red

Wednesday, December 20, 2017
By Paul Martin

Watchers.news
December 20, 2017

A major eruption started at Bezymianni volcano, Kamchatka, Russia at 03:41 UTC on December 20, 2017. According to Tokyo VAAC, volcanic ash plume is reaching 15.2 km (50 000 feet) above sea level and drifting NE. In terms of ash cloud height, this is the strongest eruption anywhere on the planet this year.

The activity at the volcano started gradually increasing on Monday, December 18. According to video data by RAS, hot avalanches at the southeastern flank of the lava dome were observed for several hours, probably as a result of the extrusive eruption.

This activity, accompanied by strong gas-steam activity continued through early December 20 when strong ash explosions started at 03:41 UTC. Ash plume rose to about 8 km (26 000 feet) a.s.l., forcing authorities to raise the Aviation Color Code from Orange to Red.

At 04:09 UTC, ash plume/cloud was extending 20 km (12 miles) NE of the crater. By 04:20 UTC, it was already 85 km (53 miles) NE of the crater.

“Strong ash explosions up to 15 km (49 000 feet) a.s.l. occur at this time,” KVERT said 04:47 UTC. “Ongoing activity could affect international and low-flying aircraft,” they warned.

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