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Japan's 2011 Earthquake May Lead to Mount Fuji Volcanic Eruption

Using seismic data collected in the wake of the earthquake, French and Japanese researchers pieced together a map of the geological underpinnings of Japan most "disturbed" by the 2011 quake. What they found was alarming: the geology of volcanic areas, particularly the one found underneath Mount Fuji, suffered the most damage from the earthquake, hinting at the possibility that the disturbances could spark the first major eruption of Mount Fuji since 1707
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The Hoei Eruption of Mount Fuji started on December 16, 1707

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Scientist warns of Fuji eruption chaos

A Japanese scientist has warned Mount Fuji is due for a "big-scale explosive eruption" that could affect millions of people and cause billions of dollars worth of damage.
Last month a study found the magma chamber under the mountain has come under immense pressure, which could even trigger a volcanic eruption.

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Japan finds another gap in its disaster readiness - Mount Fuji

When Toshítsugu Fujii became head of a Japanese task force on disaster response at Mount Fuji, he was confronted with a startling oversight. Japan had no plan in place to deal with a disaster in which an earthquake sparks a volcanic eruption at the country's most famous landmark.

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The Hoei Eruption of Mount Fuji started on December 16, 1707 (23rd day of the 11th month of the year Hoei 4) and ended about January 1, 1708 (9th day of the 12th month of the year Hoei 4) during the Edo period. Although it brought no lava flow, the Hoei eruption released some 800 million cubic meters of volcanic ash, which spread over vast areas around the volcano, even reaching Edo almost 100 km away.
Mount Fuji has not erupted since.

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Mount Fuji
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Mt. Fuji (a volcano with more names than almost any other) in Japan is one of the most historically important volcanoes, possibly only rivaled by Vesuvius in its place in the mind's of people. In Japan, it is sacred, one of the three holy mountains of Japan, and visited frequently - one of the most popular hiking destinations on the planet with over 200,000 visitors a year. It can appear tranquil, but has a history that is more violent than the near-perfect stratocone shape betrays.
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Japan's Mount Fuji last erupted in 1707, but records suggest the average interval between events is 30 years -- and that is making scientists very nervous.

Volcano experts believe Fuji has erupted about 75 times during the past 2,200 years. But during the last 300 years there has not been one such event.
Mount Fuji is located 70 miles from Tokyo in a very heavily populated area in which the government estimates an eruption might cause more than $21 billion dollars in damage.
That makes Fuji one of the most closely watched volcanoes on Earth, with numerous global positioning system arrays and other equipment constantly monitoring its activity.
And that equipment has indicated deep low-frequency earthquakes continue to occur, believed by some experts to be caused by magma flowing into the roots of the volcanic system.

"A volcano can absorb quite a few (buildups) without erupting. It's a bit like torquing a ratcheted spring: A little bit now, a little bit later, and eventually it's ****ed" - Chris Newhall of the U.S. Geological Survey.

But precisely when Fuji will be fully ****ed, nobody knows.

Source UPI

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Japan is preparing for a possible eruption of Mount Fuji 100 kilometres from Tokyo, after increased seismic activity in the area.

The government was alerted to the possibility that Mount Fuji might erupt for the first time in nearly 300 years after detecting a rise in the incidence of moderate earthquakes in the area in 2000 and 2001, which seismologists believe indicate volcanic activity.
The government will later this month release a series of measures to deal with an eruption.
An eruption may destroy buildings, roads, railways and damage agriculture and tourism, causing as much as 2.5 trillion yen in damages to the world's second biggest economy, according to a government estimate released in 2002. In the Philippines, the 1991 eruption of Mount Pinatubo killed as many as 800 people and left a city 100,000 people inhabitable.


Position: 35°21'42.80"N 138°43'50.38"E

Fuji, Japan's highest mountain at 3,776 meters last erupted in 1707, destroying surrounding villages and covering Tokyo in ash.
Tokyo is one of the world's biggest city, with a population of 26.8 million people in 2005.

While the Japan Meteorological Agency says it doesn't expect an immediate eruption, the government is preparing a disaster plan .
The plan maps areas that could be affected by an eruption and problems those areas may face. About 3,000 people live in an area where an eruption is possible. They would be evacuated in the event of any sign of an eruption.

Further away, about 20 kilometres from the mountain peak , lie the cities of Gotemba, with about 85,000 inhabitants, and Fujinomiya, with 125,000, both would have to be evacuated in certain situations.

A series of alerts will be issued based on seismic and volcanic activity, according to Tomoaki Ozaki, deputy director of the earthquake and volcanic disaster division of the Cabinet Office.

In the event of increased seismic activity, tourists will be advised not to approach the mountain through advisories issued by the Meteorological Agency.
Residents will be evacuated should steam start rising from the mountain at the same time as increased seismic activity.
Should an eruption be expected, the government will order evacuations of residents in areas that may be hit by lava, ash or rocks or mudflows. Areas most at risk are delineated by colour coding on the government's map.
The disaster prevention measures will be released in the middle of this month by the Central Disaster Prevention Council, which is headed by Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi.
Local governments and central government will be ordered to increase coordination to prepare for an eruption.

Japan has had several major volcanic eruptions in the recent past. Mount Usu on the northern island of Hokkaido erupted in 2000, forcing more than 15,000 residents to evacuate.
In the same year, about 3,000 people were evacuated when Mount Oyama on Miyake Island off Tokyo erupted. And in 1991, 43 people died from ash and rocks spewed forth during an eruption of Mount Unzen on the southern island of Kyushu.

In September 2003, steam emerging from Fuji sparked supermarket runs because people thought a major earthquake was about to occur. Columns of steam were seen about 1,530 meters above sea-level on the east-northeastern slopes of Fuji. After examining the vapours, the Meteorological Agency determined that it didn't contain chemicals likely to indicate an eruption.

Japan is also one of the world's most earthquake-prone and the country is located in a zone where the Eurasian, Pacific, Philippine and North American tectonic plates meet and sometimes shift, causing earthquakes.

Tokyo and nearby Yokohama were all but destroyed in 1923 during the Great Kanto Earthquake which left about 130,000 people dead and consumed the city with fire.

The eruption of the Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines located 100 kilometres northwest of Manila, dumped ash on the city of Angeles and forced the closure of the U.S.'s Clark Air Force Base nearby. It also sent millions of tons of sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere, reducing the world's temperature over the following few years.

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