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|Area||2,053 km2 (793 sq mi)|
|Length||100 km (60 mi)|
|Width||20 km (12 mi)|
|Highest elevation||1,816 m (5958 ft)|
|Largest settlement||Severo-Kurilsk (pop. 2592)|
Paramushir (Russian : Парамушир, romanized: Paramushir, Japanese : 幌筵島, romanized: Paramushiru-tō, Ainu : パラムシㇼ, romanized: Para=mu=sir), is a volcanic island in the northern portion of Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk in the northwest Pacific Ocean. It is separated from Shumshu by the very narrow Second Kuril Strait in the northeast 2.5 km (1.6 mi), from Antsiferov by the Luzhin Strait (15 km (9.3 mi)) to the southwest, from Atlasov in the northwest by 20 km (12 mi), and from Onnekotan in the south by the 40 km (25 mi) wide Fourth Kuril Strait. Its northern tip is 39 km (24 mi) from Cape Lopatka at the southern tip of the Kamchatka Peninsula. Its name is derived from the Ainu language, from “broad island” or “populous island”. Severo-Kurilsk, the administrative center of the Severo-Kurilsky district, is the only permanently populated settlement on Paramushir island.
Paramushir is roughly rectangular, and is the second largest of the Kuril Islands with an area of 2,053 square kilometres (793 sq mi). Geologically, Paramushir is a continuous chain of 23 volcanoes. At least five of them are active, and exceed 1,000 m (3,281 ft):
Paramushir has a sub-arctic climate strongly modulated by the cooling effects of the North Pacific Oyashio Current. The arboreal flora of Paramushir is consequently limited to dense, stunted copses of Siberian dwarf pine and shrubby alder. The alpine tundra which dominates the landscape produces plentiful edible mushrooms and berries, especially lingonberry, Arctic raspberry, whortleberry and crowberry. Red fox, Arctic hare and ermine are notably abundant and hunted by the inhabitants. The island also supports a population of brown bears. In the spring crested auklet nest on the island.The straits between Paramushir and Shumshu island support a notably dense population of sea otters; harbor seals are also common. North Pacific right whales, one of the rarest and the most endangered whale species are known to appear in the surrounding waters.
Several species of charr and Pacific salmon spawn in its rivers, notably in the Tukharka river, which at 20 km (12 mi) is the longest river on the island.
Paramushir was inhabited by the Ainu at the time of European contact.[ citation needed ] The island appears on an official map showing the territories of Matsumae Domain, a feudal domain of Edo period Japan dated 1644. Russian fur traders are known to have visited the island in 1711 and 1713, and Russian Orthodox missionaries established a church in 1747 to convert the local inhabitants. Subsequently, claimed by the Empire of Russia, sovereignty over the island was initially confirmed to be under Imperial Russia under the terms of the Treaty of Shimoda in 1855, but was transferred to the Empire of Japan per the Treaty of Saint Petersburg along with the rest of the Kuril Islands. The Japanese established a settlement, Kashiwabara, on the site of the largest Ainu village, which became the major port on the island, and a center for the commercial fishing industry. The island was administered as part of Shimushu District of Nemuro Subprefecture of Hokkaidō.
During World War II the island was strongly garrisoned by both the Imperial Japanese Army and Imperial Japanese Navy. The headquarters of the IJA 91st Infantry Division, responsible for defense of the northern Kurils, was established at Kashiwabara, and numerous coastal artillery positions and fortified bunkers were constructed in various locations around the island. In addition, the Imperial Japanese Army constructed four airfields: Kashiwabara Airfield in the northeast with Ki-43 Oscars, Kakumabestu Airfield on the southwest coast with a 3,800 ft (1,158 m) runway and Ki-44 Tojos, Kitanodai Airfield on the northeast coast with a 4,000 ft (1,219 m) runway, and Suribachi Airfield, an auxiliary base in the center of the south coast with two runways. The Imperial Japanese Navy had Musashi Airfield on the south-western tip of the island with two 4,000 ft (1,219 m) runways, one 4,300 ft (1,311 m) and another 4,200 ft (1,280 m), operating a variety of aircraft as well as a radar site. These bases were subject to sporadic air raids from the US Army Air Forces and US Navy based in the Aleutian Islands from 1943 until the end of the war.
Soviet troops landed on Paramushir on August 18, 1945, during the Invasion of the Kuril Islands, and combat operations continued through August 23, ending with the surrender of the surviving members of the Japanese garrison. The Soviets forcibly deported the remaining Japanese civilian inhabitants and sent the prisoners of war to labor camps. Kashiwabara was renamed Severo-Kurilsk and the island annexed by the Soviet Union in 1946. Japan formally gave up sovereignty over the island under the terms of the San Francisco Peace Treaty of 1951.
In November 1952, Severo-Kurilsk was destroyed by the 1952 Severo-Kurilsk tsunami and was rebuilt in another location. Following the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1990, the population of the island has decreased (2592 in 2002 census, 5180 in the 1989 census), and villages that once lined the coast are now ghost towns. This is due in part to the crash of the formerly lucrative herring fishery, to the extremely destructive tsunami of 1952, and general economic hardships in the more remote reaches of Russia since the fall of the Soviet Union. The island is now administered as part of the Sakhalin Oblast of the Russian Federation.
The Kuril Islands or Kurile Islands is a volcanic archipelago part of Sakhalin Oblast in the Russian Far East. It stretches approximately 1,300 km (810 mi) northeast from Hokkaido in Japan to Kamchatka Peninsula in Russia separating the Sea of Okhotsk from the north Pacific Ocean. There are 56 islands and many minor rocks. The Kuril Islands consist of the Greater Kuril Chain and the Lesser Kuril Chain. They cover an area of around 10,503.2 square kilometres (4,055.3 sq mi), with a population of roughly 20,000.
Severo-Kurilsk is a town and the administrative center of Severo-Kurilsky District of Sakhalin Oblast, Russia, located in the northern part of the Kuril Islands, on the island of Paramushir. Population: 2,536 (2010 Census); 2,592 (2002 Census); 5,180 (1989 Census).
Kunashir Island, possibly meaning Black Island or Grass Island in Ainu, is the southernmost island of the Kuril Islands archipelago. The island is currently under Russian control, though Japan also claims the island.
Iturup is one of the Kuril Islands. It was formerly known as Staten Island. It is the largest and northernmost island in the southern Kurils, ownership of which is disputed by Japan and Russia.
Chikurachki is the highest volcano on Paramushir Island in the northern Kuril Islands. It is actually a relatively small volcanic cone constructed on a high Pleistocene volcanic edifice. Oxidized andesitic scoria deposits covering the upper part of the young cone gives it a distinctive red color. Lava flows from 1,816-metre (5,958 ft) high Chikurachki reached the sea and form capes on the northwest coast; several young lava flows also emerge from beneath the scoria blanket on the eastern flank.
Onekotan is an uninhabited volcanic island located near the northern end of the Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk in the northwest Pacific Ocean. Its name is derived from the Ainu language for "large village”. It is the second largest island, after Paramushir, in the northern subgroup of the Kurils. It is administratively included in the Severo-Kurilsky District of Sakhalin oblast, Russia.
Matua is an uninhabited volcanic island near the center of the Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk in the northwest Pacific Ocean, 16 kilometers (9.9 mi) across Golovnin Strait from Raikoke. Its name is derived from the Ainu language, from “hellmouth”.
Antsiferov Island is an uninhabited volcanic island located in the northern Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk in the northwest Pacific Ocean. Its former Japanese name is derived from the Ainu language for "place of tall waves". Its nearest neighbor is Paramushir, located 15 km away across the Luzhin Strait. It is currently named for the cossack explorer Danila Antsiferov, who first described it along with other northern Kuril islands in the early eighteenth century.
Ekarma is an uninhabited volcanic island near the center of the Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk in the northwest Pacific Ocean, separated from Shiashkotan by the Ekarma Strait. Its name is derived from the Ainu language, from “safe anchorage”.
Ketoy is an uninhabited volcanic island located in the centre of the Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk in the northwest Pacific Ocean. Its name is derived from the Ainu language for "skeleton" or "bad".
Kharimkotan ; Japanese 春牟古丹島; Harimukotan-tō, alternatively Harumukotan-tō or 加林古丹島; Karinkotan-tō) is an uninhabited volcanic island located 15 km (9 mi) from Onekotan near the northern end of the Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk in the northwest Pacific Ocean. Its name is derived from the Ainu language, from “village of many Cardiocrinum”.
Shumshu is the second-northernmost island of the Kuril Islands chain, which divides the Sea of Okhotsk from the northwest Pacific Ocean. The name of the island is derived from the Ainu language, meaning "good island". It is separated from Paramushir by the very narrow Second Kuril Strait in the northeast 2.5 kilometres (1.6 mi), and its northern tip is 11 kilometres (6.8 mi), from Cape Lopatka at the southern tip of the Kamchatka Peninsula. The island has a seasonal population of around 100 inhabitants.
Simushir, meaning Large Island in Ainu, is an uninhabited volcanic island near the center of the Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk in the northwest Pacific Ocean. It was formerly known as Marikan.
Shiashkotan ; is an uninhabited volcanic island near the center of the Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk in the northwest Pacific Ocean, separated from Ekarma by the Ekarma Strait. Its name is derived from the Ainu language, from “Konbu village”.
Raikoke, also spelled Raykoke, is, as of 2019 a Russian uninhabited volcanic island near the centre of the Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk in the northwest Pacific Ocean, 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) distant from the island of Matua. Its name is derived from the Ainu language, from “hellmouth”.
Tao-Rusyr Caldera is a stratovolcano located at the southern end of Onekotan Island, Kuril Islands, Russia. It has 7.5 km wide caldera formed during a catastrophic eruption less than 10,000 years ago. The waters of Kol'tsevoe Lake fill the caldera, along with a large symmetrical andesitic cone, Krenitsyn Peak, that rises as an island within the lake. This volcano was named after Captain Pyotr Krenitsyn of the Imperial Russian Navy.
Demon is a stratovolcano located at the northern end of Iturup Island, Kuril Islands, Russia.
Rasshua, is an uninhabited volcanic island near the center of the Kuril Islands chain in the Sea of Okhotsk in the northwest Pacific Ocean, 16 kilometres (9.9 mi) from Ushishir and 30 kilometres (19 mi) southwest of Matua. Its name is derived from the Ainu language for “fur coat”.
Lomonosov Group is a volcanic group of cinder cones located in the southern part of Paramushir Island, Kuril Islands, Russia.
Vernadskii Ridge is a volcanic group located in the northern part of Paramushir Island, Kuril Islands, Russia.
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