MOSCOW (AP) — Huge ash columns erupted from Eurasia’s tallest active volcano Wednesday, forcing authorities to close schools in two towns on Russia’s sparsely populated Kamchatka Peninsula.
The eruptions from the Klyuchevskaya Sopka volcano sent ash as high as 13 kilometers (8 miles) above sea level, officials said.
There were no reports of injuries, but officials ordered schools in Ust-Kamchatsk and Klyuchy closed as a precaution. Each town has a population of about 5,000. Klyuchy is located about 30 kilometers (20 miles) from the volcano and Ust-Kamchatsk 50 kilometers (30 miles) away.
The 4,650-meter (15,255-foot) stratovolcano has been active in recent years and released lava in June.
The Kamchatka Peninsula, which extends into the Pacific Ocean about 6,700 kilometers (4,100 miles) east of Moscow, is noted for its array of active and dormant volcanoes, geysers and geothermal springs.