Thrill-seekers are heading to the farthest corner of the Russian Federation to see an unusual sight: the Plosky Tolbachik volcano is undergoing a record-breaking lava eruption. At night, the flowing lava lights up the sky. Visitors rave about the rare sight.
The Plosky Tolbachik volcano on the Kamchatka Peninsula in the far eastern corner of Russia has been erupting since at least November 27th. This is the first time the volcano has erupted since 1975. The lava flow is setting records; it’s estimated that 1200 metric tons of lava are flowing from the volcano every second. The lava is flowing from two areas of the volcano.
The Plosky Tolbachik is what is known as a shield volcano, due to its resemblance to a warrior’s shield. It is part of a system of three volcanos. The Kamchatka Peninsula has over 150 volcanos, about 30 of which are considered active.
The trip is not for the easily intimidated. The Plosky Tolbachik is a 10 hour ride from Kamchatka’s capital. And, tours aren’t cheap; The Guardian estimates that the trip out there costs around 600 pounds sterling ($970 US). The volcano itself also presents some dangers. Lava spews caused a small forest fire that destroyed two research facilities. And, residents in some areas have had to take shelter in their homes to protect against showers of ash. Seismologists say that if the flow increases, it could present a serious danger. The eruption has been assigned a Code Red status.