Man Stranded Near Crater Of Eurasia's Highest Active Volcano With Rescuers Unable To Help
A tourist has been left stranded near the crater of Eurasia's highest active volcano, with rescuers concerned about complications in the search due to weather conditions and 'continuing high volcanic activity'.
The 35-year-old man is currently located around 650ft below the rim of the 15,580ft Klyuchevskaya Sopka volcano, which is in Russia's Kamchatka peninsula, with reports saying he was spotted from the air.
However, rescuers have been struggling to save him due to spewing volcanic activity and melting high-altitude glacier at the top.
Ministry of Emergencies of Russia for the Kamchatka Territory (KGKU DPC) has been sharing updates through its website and social media.
It said a signal had been sent to the rescue service on 6 July asking for help, with the caller saying his friend's legs had 'failed' 200 metres from the crater, on the northern slope of the volcano - supposedly due to altitude sickness.
Yesterday (12 July), the KGKU DPC said the rescue operation has had to be suspended, despite rescuers potentially coming within 200ft of the tourist's position.
A radio message from the rescue group leader said: "There is an ice field with stones above us. It is warming and we are just constantly dodging the falling rocks.
"Now we are hiding behind a little ridge and going down. Definitely we would be killed if we carry on."
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A statement from the KGKU DPC read: "Search activities are not possible now due to an increase in temperature, as well as ongoing volcanic activity, mean the glacier located at the top is melting.
"Mudflows and powerful rockfalls are constantly observed on the slopes, along the ascent path, which is the only route to the victim's location.
"Last weekend, several attempts were made to land a landing group near the crater of the volcano, in close proximity to the place where the victim was located.
"It was assumed that the helicopter would hang near the edge of the crater, rescuers would land on the volcano, take the victim and transfer him on board the helicopter. However, weather conditions and combined-cycle emissions from the crater of the volcano did not allow the helicopter to approach its destination.
"For safe climbing, cloudy cold weather and a decrease in snowmelt activity are most favorable, as a result of which the activity of rockfalls will be reduced."
The weather forecast is not expected to change enough to improve conditions in the coming days, rescuers remain unable to get to the man - either by climbing to the top of the volcano themselves or via helicopter.
The KGKU DPC said the men had not registered their trip to the volcano with authorities.
Featured Image Credit: East2West News