By Dan Shapley
One of only four geyser areas on Earth was buried under a landslide, the World Wildlife Fund said today. The Valley of Geysers in remote Kamchatka, Russia, disappeared, leaving the world's only known geysers in Yellowstone National Park, Iceland and New Zealand. "We've lost one of the great natural wonders of the world, Laura Williams, director of WWF-Russia's Kamchatka office, said in a prepared statement. "Here on Kamchatka, where earthquakes and eruptions are the norm, the earth is alive underfoot, constantly moving and changing. This as a chance for people to see the power of the natural world in Russia's nature reserve. It can be physically violent and destructive, but it's also the root of creation on our planet. The Valley of the Geysers, discovered in 1941 by Tatiana Ivanovna Ustinova, is part of the Volcanoes of Kamchatka UNESCO World Heritage Site. It includes 20 large geysers and 200 thermal springs, vapor-steam jets, and mud-pots that "belch, boil and gush" in an area of about four square miles. The geyser conditions are unlikely to return, experts said, following the collapse of a snow covered mountain. Nineteen tourists in the area at the time of the collapse were not injured, according to a story in the June 5 Los Angeles Times.