MOSCOW, RUSSIA — An aviation alert has been issued following an eruption from one of Russia's most active volcanoes, as a massive ash cloud was released into the atmosphere.

Shiveluch, a volcano located in the eastern Kamchatka Peninsula of Russia, erupted shortly after midnight and reached its peak six hours later, emitting an ash cloud that spread over 108,000 square kilometers, as reported by the Kamchatka Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences' Geophysical Survey.

Grey ash drifts, nearly 10 centimeters deep, have covered villages in the area, marking the deepest accumulation in 60 years, according to Reuters. Lava flows have cascaded down the volcano's slopes, melting snow and resulting in a mudflow alert.

This eruption has raised concerns about the potential impact on global flight routes.

The Kamchatka Volcanic Eruption Response Team issued a red notice for aviation, warning that "ongoing activity could affect international and low-flying aircraft."

In April 2021, an enormous ash cloud from an Icelandic volcano enveloped northern Europe, grounding thousands of flights and causing the largest airspace closure since the September 11 attacks in 2001.

It took a week for flights to gradually resume in Europe, with 95,000 cancellations during that period.

Additionally, in 2018, scientists cautioned that another Icelandic volcano, Katla, could disrupt global operations if it erupts. The last eruption occurred in 1918, with previous eruptions happening roughly every 50 years, making it overdue for another event.

Danila Chebrov, director of the Kamchatka branch of the Geophysical Survey, stated, "The ash reached 20 kilometers high, the ash cloud moved westwards and there was a very strong fall of ash on nearby villages."

He also mentioned that the volcano had been preparing for this event for at least a year, and although the activity has subsided somewhat, it continues. Chebrov did not dismiss the possibility of more significant ash clouds, but he believes lava flows will not reach local villages.

Shiveluch, one of Kamchatka's largest and most active volcanoes, has experienced an estimated 60 significant eruptions in the past 10,000 years, with the most recent major eruption occurring in 2007.

The volcano consists of two main parts, the smaller of which, Young Shiveluch, has been extremely active in recent months. Young Shiveluch has a peak of 2,800 meters that extends from the 3,283-meter-high Old Shiveluch.