These volcanoes are in Russia, the far east of Russia where both survival and plate tectonics are less stable than the in metropolitan Moscow and St Petersburg; reminding us of the many sides to this vast country. It lies on the pacific ring of fire and the Kamchatka Peninsula contains around 30 active volcanoes including Avachinsky and Koryaksky. These two volcanoes are listed as Decade Volcanoes due to their proximity to Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky; the main city of Kamchatka Krai. The city has a population of around 200,000, is Russia's largest submarine base and temperatures range from -30°C to 30°C. Avanchinsky is a stratovolcano that last erupted in 2001, a major eruption (VEI= 4) took plave in 1945 and is 2,741m high. Koryaksky last erupted more recently than its neighbour in 2009. It is also taller than Koryasky 3,456m but eruptions tend to be less violent.
An eruption of Avachinsky was recorded in 1779 on Captain Cook's final voyage by John Ledyard
On the 15th it continued calm until noon when it clouded up and became very black and dark: the two mountains Peter and Paul were covered with the atmosphere near half way from their summits down, and at two o'clock we had again a small shock of an earthquake, and heard a hollow rumbling noise in the air, and the atmosphere continuing to condense, it became almost as dark as night, and the face of heaven looked very wild: we singled the stops of the sheet-anchor and eased the ship aloft at all the portentous appearances. Between three and four the mountain Paul exploded with a tremendous shock that convulsed everything around us: The report that attended the explosion was very loud at first, but gradually decreased until it subsided to a sound like that of grumbling distant thunderThe volcanoes here are referred to as Peter and Paul, the biblical nature of which is a reminder of how in this period unexplained events were thought of as in terms of God.