17 July 2007
Klyuchevoskoy Volcano (Ключевской сопка)
This volcano's (Koryaksky - Корякская сопка) neighbor (Klyuchevoskoy - Ключевской) is exploding right now and I bet most of you haven’t even heard about it. I only heard about it briefly and almost by accident because the ash plumes are affecting air traffic over the Aleutian islands of Alaska – all the way from Russia. Having heard the news I investigated what I could to find that entire villages and their economies have been wiped out from the mud and lava flows from this volcano. Hot spring spas that I soaked in after a grueling field season on the Commander Islands have washed away under a sea of mud. This picture is from Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (PK), a city in Far Eastern Russian on the Kamchatka Penninsula. PK is a grim city in a gorgeous setting, mostly because it was almost entirely constructed during the Soviet era of which gray cinder block structures became almost a signature piece. I can imagine the soot filtering through this city making it even dustier. How is it that parts of world can be wiped out and the news of it can't compete with the gossip news?