Russian volcano erupts

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A volcano in northern Russia has erupted, and is churning out ash to a height of 10,000 metres, scientists said on Friday.

The 3,283-metre Shiveluch volcano increased activity in May 2009 and has been periodically spewing ash from three to eight kilometres.

"Low clouds prevent us from getting a clear visual of the event, but our seismic data indicates that Shiveluch has churned out ash plumes to a height of up to 10,000 metres," said an official at the Far Eastern Institute of Volcanology and Seismology.

Scientists said the volcanic activity over the past two-three years has altered the contour of the volcano, with the crater increasing in size by nearly 50 percent and the slopes becoming far steeper than before.

The current eruption poses no immediate threat to nearby settlements. But the ash fallouts could be hazardous to health and the environment.

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