Russian Volcano Erupts Without Warning; Ash Cloud Moving toward US

Russian Volcano Erupts Without Warning; Ash Cloud Moving toward US
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The Raikoki Volcano on the Kurile Islands of far eastern Russia, erupted explosively and without warning last night, spewing volcanic ash 43,000 feet into the air.  That ash cloud is now moving east over the Pacific ocean towards the US and CANADA.

The very significant explosive eruption occurred - without any warning - at Raikoki volcano on the evening of 21 June 2019, at or shortly before around 18:10 UTC (or 06:10 local time on 22 June). 

A dense dark-brown ash plume rising to estimated 43,000 ft (13 km) altitude was spotted clearly on Japan's Himawari 8 satellite, high above the dense lower cloud decks.  The photo above from a satellite, shows the ash cloud moving east over the Pacific Ocean.

As of the time of this post, about 6 hours after the start of the (presumably still ongoing) eruption, the ash plume has reached a length of approx. 500 km and drifting eastwards. 

Raikoki is a stratovolcano forming a small island in the central part of the Kuriles, about 16 km across the Golovnin Strait from Matua Island. It rises to an elevation of 700 m. 

It is on one of the most remote of the Kurils Islands chain and is not monitored, so there are no known precursors nor any details from ground observations available.

The map below is scalable so readers can see where this took place in relation to other areas:

A few eruptions have been known from sporadic historic records during the past centuries.  The last known eruption of this volcano took place in 1923.

 

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