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Volcano Erupts in Russia

December 5, 1997

MOSCOW (AP) _ A Russian volcano in the Pacific Rim’s ``ring of fire″ erupted today with a 5-mile-high burst of ashes, forcing U.S. airliners to change flight paths.

American satellites showed a 60-mile-long trailing cloud of ashes from the Bezymyany volcano on the sparsely populated Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia’s Far East, the ITAR-Tass news agency reported.

American airliners were informed of the eruption and changed course accordingly, the news agency said, citing an unidentified spokesman for a Russian-U.S. scientific group that monitors potential danger for flights.

Flights between Russia and Alaska pass over Kamchatka.

The eruption posed no immediate threat to the nearest communities _ Kozyrevsk, 20 miles from the volcano, and Klyuchi, 30 miles away, the Interfax news service reported.

It was the second eruption this year of the 9,412-foot-high Bezymyany, which dusted the region with ash in May.

The source of one of the century’s biggest eruptions in 1956, Bezymyany has become increasingly active again in the last few years.

The Kamchatka Peninsula, eight time zones east of Moscow, has 29 active volcanoes. Eight have erupted repeatedly in the last decade.

The area is part of the Pacific’s ring of fire, which contains more active volcanoes than any other region in the world.

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