Erupting Russian Volcano Attracts Thrill-seekers

An erupting 4,750m volcano in Kamtchatka, Russia is attracting tourists who may have a little too much chutzpah for their own good.

The Klyuchevskaya Sopka volcano, the highest active volcano in Eurasia, has been spewing lava since late last year. Just as activity in the main cone died in February, a second eruption occurred at around 2,750m, forming a side cone. After the formation of this side cone, “adventure” tourists began to arrive.

The tourists are apparently getting extremely close to the still erupting crater. Photos on social media show them huddled around the crater rim with falling lava visible in the air.

A tad too close? Photo: @andreev_andrey


The Russian Ministry of Emergencies has impressed upon would-be thrill-seekers the danger posed by the volcano. Toxic gas emissions, mudflows, and large chunks of falling lava all pose a significant risk. Fresh eruptions are also possible, and hard to predict.

Regional travel agencies have been told to keep tourists away, but the Ministry of Emergencies is concerned that the proliferation of social media images might yet attract more Darwin Award contenders.

Get ready to duck: While red-hot volcanic bombs fall around them, tourists survey the scene. Photo: @andreev_andrey