Voices from Russia

Saturday, 6 January 2018

Kamchatka Volcano Spits Up Ash 5-7 Kilometres High

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On Friday, the Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team at the Institute of Volcanology and Seismology of the Far Eastern Department of the Russian Academy of Sciences told us that Klyuchevskoy Volcano in Kamchatka Krai spewed ash for three days in a row, saying:

The volcano emitted ash as high as 5.5 kilometres (3.4 miles) [above sea level.] The volcano itself is 4,750 metres (15,600 feet) high.

The ash spread 92 kilometres (57 miles) in a northwestern direction from the volcano. This is the third time Klyuchevskoy erupted in 2018. On 3 January, it spewed ash as high as 6 kilometres (3.75 miles), and on 4 January the authorities issued an orange hazard code for aircraft after a second eruption at the same height. Klyuchevskoy is Eurasia’s highest active volcano (4,750 metres in height) and one of the most active on the peninsula. In 2016, up to ten lava flows oozed down its slope simultaneously during an eruption. The nearest community is the village of Klyuchi in Kamchatka Krai, located 30 kilometres (18.6 miles) away from the volcano base. The village frequently suffers ash showers during eruptions.

5 January 2018

TASS

http://tass.com/society/984044

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

Russian Bears Searching Remote Villages for Food

00 bear in a tree. 28.08.13

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Wildlife authorities in some of Russia’s more remote and wild regions warn residents to stay inside after dark after several encounters with wild animals resulted in attacks on humans, livestock, and guard dogs. Authorities in areas such as Kamchatka and Bashkiria said that they shoot aggressive animals, even from the air. The situation worsened with the arrival of the cold season. Hungry predators search for food as their resources in the forest become increasingly difficult to find, so, the animals search for food in the villages. In Kamchatka this year, authorities recorded a large number of anomalous bears that didn’t go into winter hibernation. So far, the bears killed three people and seriously injured two more.

However, the bears’ main target is livestock and poultry. Local scientists and hunters said that they believed that the bears are unable to hibernate because they’re still hungry. This year, rivers in Kamchatka had few fish, and bears had a hard time finding enough berries in the forests. Many predators didn’t have time to store up fat; now, they roam in search of food, even near settlements. Kamchatka Krai introduced a special decree… the authorities decided to shoot all bears not in “voluntary” winter sleep. They’ve already killed 140 predators. In Bashkiria in mid-October, a bear attacked and killed a mushroom collector.

Whilst bears remain a problem, some authorities consider wolves to be a greater threat. Primarily, their victims are pet dogs in yards. Usually, dogs are on a leash, so, they can’t fight the wolves. In the Komi Republic, wolves bit three pet dogs. In Kaliningrad Oblast, wolves ate 35 sheep and 20 cows. In Tuva, there were 15 attacks by wolves on livestock. In Lugansk Oblast, wolves tore up nine sheep. According to locals, this is the first case where predators attacked domestic animals within inhabited areas. In areas where wolf attacks are random, local authorities don’t issue formal permits for killing predators. They tell frightened residents to follow simple safety precautions. Don’t go out at night, don’t let children out unaccompanied, lock pet dogs inside the house, and call the authorities if you encounter a wild animal. Bears, unlike wolves, rarely go to towns, so, precautions to follow in regards to them are different. Don’t go into the woods alone, and if you walk in the woods, talk loudly, or even sing, so that the animals can hear you. If you see a bear, don’t make any sudden movements; move away slowly and smoothly. If a bear attacks, it’s better to fall on the ground and pretend to be dead. Chances of escaping from a bear or hiding in a tree are negligible.

However, there are regions where these recommendations aren’t enough. If the number of dangerous animals exceeds established standards, one must reduce their number by force. By law, killing wild animals is punishable by fines from 2,000 to 5,000 Roubles (61-153 USD. 64-162 CAD. 67-169 AUD. 44-110 Euros. 37-93 UK Pounds). The Ministry of Natural Resources and the Environment does issue permits for “prey hunting resources in order to regulate herd numbers”. The police or hunters can do the shooting. Under federal law, you can only kill wolves with a gun… the law strictly forbids using traps and poisons. For these purposes, the government allots separate funds for the regions. For example, in Yakutia, the struggle with wolves will cost 32 million Roubles (976,000 USD. 1.034 million CAD. 1.078 million AUD. 708,000 Euros. 596,000 UK Pounds). Besides guns, local authorities want to use light aircraft to shoot wolves.

However, according to Nikolai Vyshegorodskih, the Head of Protection and Use of Wildlife, Aquatic Biological Resources, and Environmental Safety of Oryol Oblast, regulating wolf populations by violent means is necessary only in exceptional cases. He said, “Wild wolves attacking humans is extremely rare. Sixty percent of the diet of these animals is rats and other small animals. They’re afraid of people”. In his view, wolves play an important role in the food chain, saying, “Let’s take, for instance, Oryol Oblast. Once wolves come here, then, it sharply reduces the number of stray dogs, cats, and rabid foxes. Sometimes, they eat pet dogs. However, from the viewpoint of natural selection, it’s a normal process. Dogs are socially adapted to people and poorly adapted to life in nature, so, a stronger link in the food chain kills them… the wolf, and in the Far East, it’s the tiger”. Vyshegorodskih noted that as soon as a territory becomes free of wolves, rats, foxes, and wild dogs take their place, which assume the role of predator, and attack humans. He said, “In this situation, wolves are rather good”.

7 December 2013

Anastasia Maltseva

Russia Behind the Headlines

http://rbth.ru/society/2013/12/07/russian_bears_searching_remote_villages_for_food_32359.html

Saturday, 2 November 2013

2 November 2013. Bears 1, Russians 1, and a Drawn Contest… The Match Continues

00k Bears of Lake Kurilsk. Kamchatka. 15.11.12

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On Monday, the local MVD said that a 55-year-old resident of the Sakha Republic in Siberia stabbed a bear to death with a knife when the animal attacked him. A male bear attacked the man when he visited his horses in a remote enclosure about 50 kilometres (31 miles) from his home village. The cops said, “The bear attacked him when he was feeding his horses. The man stayed calm and resisted the attack… he took out a knife and managed to stab the animal several times and kill it”. The man sustained numerous wounds to his head and face; he went to hospital. Doctors said that his condition wasn’t life-threatening.

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On Tuesday, local officials in the Russian Far East said they had to call in the cops after someone spotted a brown bear and its cub wandering about near a sports stadium. Recently, a spike in bear activity near residential areas in the remote Kamchatka Peninsula worried authorities as it put people’s lives at risk. Locals noticed the bears at the Spartak Stadium in Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky at approximately 22.30 local time Monday night. The local MVD said that there were no people in the stadium at the time. Police went to the stadium in a patrol car and blew their horn to scare away the bears. The animals retreated to a nearby hill, about one kilometre (2/3 mile) from the Kamchatka Krai local government building. There’s been a marked rise in bear activity on the Kamchatka Peninsula. Rangers at the Kamchatka Volcanoes National Park had to shoot fifteen animals dead between May and October for posing a threat to people.

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Local television reported that an elderly shepherd in the North Caucasus survived a bear attack by fighting off the animal with kicks and headbutts. Yusuf Alchagirov, 80, also tried to stab the bear when the beast approached him in a raspberry field in Kabardino-Balkaria, but he said that the animal knocked his knife away. Alchagirov told the regional affiliate of VGTRK TV that the ensuing tussle culminated in the bear, enraged by the headbutt, throwing Alchagirov off a cliff and walking away. Alchagirov was briefly in hospital with bruises, bite wounds, and four broken ribs. His family baked him three traditional pies to celebrate his survival. He said on TV, “I got off easy. It would’ve killed me if I’d chickened out”. The incident took place last week, but national media didn’t pick it up until Wednesday. Locals told the media that they didn’t hunt down the bear because they believed it was only playing with Alchagirov.

7/22/30 October 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/russia/20131007/183980595/Siberian-Man-Armed-Only-With-Knife-Kills-Bear.html

http://en.ria.ru/russia/20131022/184301757/Bear-Takes-Its-Cub-to-Stadium-in-Russias-Far-East.html

http://en.ria.ru/russia/20131030/184439861/80-Year-Old-Russian-Headbutts-Bear-Survives.html

Friday, 18 October 2013

Eurasia’s Highest Volcano Spews Ash Up to 10 Kilometres into the Atmosphere in Kamchatka

00 Klyuchevskaya Sopka volcano. Kamchatka RUSSIA. 18.10.13

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On Friday morning, the MChS reported that Eurasia‘s highest stratovolcano, Klyuchevskaya Sopka, on Kamchatka Peninsula in the Russian Far East, churned out ash to a height of 10 kilometres (6.2 miles), noting, “The cloud of ash travelled a distance of 200 kilometres (125 miles) to the southwest of the volcano”, adding that ash downfalls were reported in two local villages. The statement warned all tourist agencies in the region against conducting tours in the areas located near the volcano and advised all air carriers operating in the region to select alternative routes. Klyuchevskaya Sopka, which lies 220 miles north of regional capital Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, is one of the largest active volcanoes in the world, with a height of 4,750 metres (15,584 feet). It erupts every two to three years. The volcano’s most powerful eruption was between January and May of 2005. Following that eruption, the volcano “sank” by 50 metres (165 feet), from 4,800 metres (15,749 feet) to the current 4,750 metres. There are more than 150 volcanoes on Kamchatka and up to 30 of them are active.

18 October 2013

RIA-Novosti

http://en.ria.ru/russia/20131018/184216675/Eurasias-Highest-Volcano-Spews-Ash-Up-to-62-Miles.html

 

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