© Artyom Vinogradov
Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky city of 180,000 is just 26 km from 'waking' Avachinsky on Pacific's ring of fire.
Avachinsky - also known as Avacha - and its big sister volcano Koryaksky tower over the Kamchatka capital of Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky, giving it one of the most spectacular city views anywhere in the world.

Recent days have seen signs of activity on stratovolcano Avachinsky - 2,741 metres (8,993 ft) - prompting warnings to locals and tourists to stay away.

Vulcanarium website warned: 'Today, December 9, early in the morning, the first outbreaks were recorded in the crater of the volcano.

'Avacha has high gas contamination, you cannot get to the top.'

© Artyom Vinogradov
A red glow and smoke is seen exuding from the crater.
A group of volcanologists were prevented from climbing beyond a height of 2,100 m (6,890ft) by the gas.

Climbing the volcano, as well as being within a radius of 5 km from it, is not recommended.

'We remind you that visiting the Avachi cone is currently dangerous,' said the site.

The Kamchatka branch of the Russian Expert Council for Earthquake Prediction, Seismic Hazard and Risk Assessment has already warned that the risk of an eruption has increased in the next month.

This is based on data provided by the Kamchatka branch of the Unified Geophysical Service of the Russian Academy of Sciences (KB REC).

On Friday, the regional department of the Ministry of Emergencies used these findings to issue its own warning.

Valentin Yakovenko, an engineer with the service, said: 'We restored a station that is very useful and needed right now.
© Vulcanarium Kamchatka
A group of volcanologists were prevented from climbing beyond a height of 2,100 m (6,890ft) by the gas.
'I think now we will have more data about the upcoming eruption.

'There is a strong gas contamination on the crater.'

The team needed to wear respirators and he said 'we are waiting' for an eruption.

Danila Chebrov, chairman of KB REC, said: 'A gradual increase in seismic energy released in the volcanic structure has been observed for about a month.

'The energy class of individual earthquakes exceeds 5.

'For this volcano, these are significant events.'

The glow at the summit of the volcano is an observable sign of a possible eruption, he indicated.

'This is the output of hot gases, the temperature of which exceeds 800 degrees Celsius.

'In social networks there was a picture taken at night with a photosensitive camera.

'The photo clearly shows the glow.

'Many believe that this is lava in the crater, however, this is not so - it is the glowing gases that escape through the crack at the top.

'This phenomenon was also recorded by our camera installed on the Avachinsky Pass.'

Forecasting of volcanic eruptions has improved in Kamchatka.

'We cannot say that Avacha will certainly erupt in the next month, but such a scenario is now very likely - be careful,' he warned.

In recorded history Avachinsky has erupted at least 16 times - with the largest in relatively recent times in 1945.

There were smaller eruptions in 1991 and 2001.