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No sign of Mt. Fuji erupting, say experts
3 Apr 11 - Although a large, shallow earthquake (magnitude 6.2) occurred under Mt Fujiyama Volcano, Japan on the 15th of March 2011, experts insist that there is no sign of an imminent eruption.
A week after the earthquake, a government panel of experts in volcanic eruptions said that, despite the series of temblors in the region, "it had detected no signs that Mt. Fuji and other active volcanoes west of Tokyo might soon erupt."
''With no subtle volcanic movements or crustal movements, we do not see
signs that would immediately lead to eruptions,'' Hitoshi Yamasato, a panel
member told reporters.
Prior to Mt. Fuji's last eruption, a magnitude 8.4 earthquake hit Honshu, Japan, on 26 Oct 1707, says Search. This was followed by several smaller earthquakes around Mt Fuji.
Two months later, on December 16th, came the eruption.
"On the first day of the eruption," says Search, "72 houses and three Buddhist temples were destroyed in the town of Subassiri 10 km from the volcano."
Over a period of 16 days, some 0.68 cubic km (.16 cu miles) of tephra (dense rock equivalent) fell over the south Kanto plain, Tokyo, and NW Pacific ocean 280 km from the volcano.
According to Search, Mt Fuji erupted several times prior to the 1707-08 incident; in 1700, 1627?, 1560, 1511, 1427?, 1083, 1032, 1017?, and several times in the 900s and 800s.
"A 2004 Japanese government simulation determined that in the worst-case
scenario, a major eruption of Fuji would cause 2.5 trillion yen in economic
damage," says Search.
"In the last 2,200 years, Fuji has erupted at least 75 times," said Shigeo Aramaki, one of Japan's leading volcano experts. "That means an average interval of 30 years between eruptions."
"In the last 300 years there has been no eruption," said Aramaki. "With the past level of activity in mind, you cannot deny that 300 years of repose is pretty long—too long."
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