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Posts Tagged ‘Japan Volcano’

FEWW Volcano Watch – 101301

Posted by feww on October 13, 2017

Shinmoedake volcano continues to erupt in Kyushu, Japan

The volcano’s latest round of activity began on October 11, after six years of dormancy. The volcano had previously erupted on September 7, 2011.

Shinmoedake on Kirishima mountain [Kirishimayama] on the island of Kyushu, Japan continues to eject plumes of smoke and ash to a height of about 1.7 km above the crater.

Ash fall was confirmed in four nearby cities and towns in Miyazaki prefecture after Thursday’s eruption.

Shinmoedake eruption on Oct 12, 2017 send a plume of whit smoke and ash to a height of about 1.7 km above the crater. Image: JMA/via Kyodo.

Japan Meteorological Agency has raised the eruption warning level from 2 to 3 ( on a scale of 1-5) after detecting inflation, which they have interpreted as increased probability of larger eruptions with pyroclastic flows occurring within the 2-kilomter radius from the crater.

Ongoing Activity at Sakurajima (Aira Caldera)

About two dozen events have been detected at Mt Sakurajima’s Showa Crater starting October 2. At least three of the events were explosive, exhaling plumes to heights of bout 1.6 km above the crater. An explosion ejected pyroclasts as far as 800m on October 5. Alert level remains at 3.

New Volcanic Activity (Global)

New volcanic activity have been reported at two volcanoes in Indonesia and one in Vanuatu:

  • Aoba (Ambae Island, Vanuatu)  Ash plumes rose to a height of 3.7 km a.s.l. on Oct 10. State of Emergency on the island has been extended for two weeks, through Oct 24. Some 11,000 residents were evacuated last month.


  • Mt. Agung (Bali)  An increase in seismic activity around the volcano forced the authorities to evacuate  about 124,000 people who lived around the volcano. The Indonesian National Board for Disaster Management declared a 12-kilometer exclusion zone around the volcano on September 24 after hundreds of volcanic earthquake rattled the volcano.
  • Lewotolo (Lomblen Island)  Around 800 people living near the volcano have been evacuated amid new activity. PVMBG has raised the alert level from 1 to 2 (on a scale of 1-4)

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Eruption Continues at Mt. Asama

Posted by feww on June 17, 2015

Asama spewing smoke and ash

About 90 tremors were recorded on June 7, and the volcano released an estimated 1,700 tons of sulfur dioxide (20 times more than the amount released last month), said officials.

Japan’s weather agency raised the alert level for the volcano to Level 2 [“Do not approach the crater”] last week.

Ashfall from the eruption was also reported around the mountain as far as 4 km from the volcano, said officials. Aashfall  from a September 2004 eruption covered a large area.

Recent Volcanic Activity on the Planet of the Abes

Mt. Ontake
In September, a series of volcanic tremors was followed by a powerful eruption at Mt. Ontake in central Japan, which left at least 57 people dead and 6 others missing.

The country’s worst volcanic disaster in 70 years would have been easily prevented had the authorities not failed to heed the warning signs.

Mt Shindake (Kuchinoerabujima)
A powerful eruption ejected an ash cloud to a height of about 9,000 meters in the air, forcing the authorities to evacuate the 140 or so residents from Kuchinoerabujima island on May 29, 2015.

Latest Warnings for Japan’s Volcanoes [Sourced from Japan’s weather agency]

  • Warning Level 5 (Evacuate) Shindake (Kuchinoerabujima), 29 May 2015
  • Near-crater warning Level 3 (Do not approach the volcano) Ontake, 31 March 2015
  • Near-crater warning Warning in non-residential areas near the crater Nishinoshima, 24 February 2015


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ANGRY Mt. Ontake Erupts in Central Japan

Posted by feww on September 27, 2014

MAIN SCENARIOS 707, 017, 08, 07

Volcanic eruptions can be far more devastating than atom bombs!

For now, deadly Ontake eruption traps more than 270 hikers, injuring dozens and burying 3 others under volcanic ash.

Ontake volcano (283040), the second highest volcano in Japan, which straddles the border between Nagano and Gifu prefectures, erupted late Saturday morning, spewing a thick plume of ash, smoke and volcanic matter up to a height of 3.5km.

Pyroclasts including small rocks ejected from the angry volcano have seriously injured at least 32 people, knocking more than a dozen of them unconscious, said local reports quoting officials at Kiso fire department in Nagano Prefecture.

Three climbers are missing believed to be buried under volcanic ash. “A 4th person who was buried under ash was later rescued but remains unconscious,” said the local TV news.

Deadly Eruption

[Updated at 14:40UTC] At least one person, a 38 year-old female, has been killed as a result of the eruption, said local reports.

More than 40 of the 271 hikers initially stranded, taking shelter at a cottage near the volcano summit, still remain on the mountain, including the injured who are waiting to be rescued.

The 3,067-meter tall volcano, located about 200km west of Tokyo, last erupted 7 years ago. A previous eruption in 1979 caused significant damage to crops in the nearby farms.

“It’s all white outside, looks like it has snowed. There is very bad visibility and we can’t see the top of the mountain,” a worker at a mountain hut for trekkers told Reuters.

“There are 15cm of ash on the ground,” she said.

“All we can do now is shut up the hut and then we are planning on coming down… This is a busy season because of the changing autumn leaves. It’s one of our busiest seasons.”

Authorities have warned that the eruption could eject pyroclasts as far as 4km from the caldera.

A thick plume of ash was still hanging over the volcano at dusk, TV footage showed.

“We expect a lot of injured people so we are now getting ready for their arrival,” said an official at Kiso Prefectural Hospital located near the mountain.

Meantime, the local meteorological agency upgraded its 5-stage volcanic alert for Ontake to “Orange”  or Level 3—Do not approach the volcano.

Sakurajima also Erupted Today

Meantime, Tokyo Volcanic Ash Advisory issue an eruption alert for SAKURAJIMA-WAKAMIKO (AIRA-CALDERA) 282080, earlier today.
The volcano erupted at 10:16UTC (2014/09/27) with the ash cloud climbing to FL070 and extending southwesterly.

Links to Latest Issues in Japan

Posted in volcanic eruption, volcanic hazard, volcanism, Volcano News | Tagged: , , , , , , | 13 Comments »

Sakurajima Erupts for 500th Time This Year

Posted by feww on August 18, 2013

Mount Sakurajima ejects a 5000-meter ash plume

Sakurajima volcano in southern Japan erupted Sunday afternoon spewing a  mushroom-shaped ash plume up to 5000 meters into the air, the highest plume ever recorded for the volcano.

Sakurajima volcano erupts in southern Japan’s Kyushu prefecture ejecting a five-kilometer high plume of ash, the highest volcanic plume ever recorded for the volcano. 
Photo: Kagoshima Local Meteorological Observatory/ via AP.

The 1117-m high volcano dumped a large amount of volcanic ash over Kagoshima city, located at the southwestern tip of the island of Kyushu, causing train delays and poor visibility on the roads.

The 50-minute eruption, the volcano’s 500th so far this year, was accompanied by a lava flow which traveled about 1,000 meters down the SE flank of the volcano.

Sakurajima was placed on “Level 3 Alert” (Do not approach the volcano) on 21 March 2012, according to Japan’s Meteorological Agency (JMA)

sakurajima dumps ash on kagoshima city
People used umbrellas and handkerchiefs to protect themselves against falling ash in Kagoshima city, Kagoshima Prefecture after Sakurajima eruption on Sunday August 18, 2013.  (Photo credit: Bunna Takizawa/ via Asahi Shimbun)

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Japan’s Shinmoedake volcano erupts for a 2nd day

Posted by feww on January 27, 2011

Mt Shinmoedake continued to eject tephra Thursday

Shinmoedake volcano in southern Japan, which began erupting on Wednesday, ejecting rocks, ash and smoke about 4,600m  into the air, was still erupting on Thursday.

Local highways and railroads have become impassable as a result, and at least 4 flights to the area have been canceled as a precaution, reports say.

Shinmoedake volcano continued erupting for a second day on Thursday. Freeze frame from ITN news clip.

Shinmoedake Volcano Erupts

Natural-color satellite image of Shinmoedake volcano  captured by MODIS aboard NASA’s
Terra satellite on January 26, 2011. Shinmoedake is a volcano in the Kirishima volcanic complex on Japan’s Kyushu island. Source: NASA-EO. Click image to enlarge.

Lightening is photographed using time exposure during an eruption from Mt Shinmoedake in the Kirishima volcanic complex on the border of Kagoshima and Miyazaki prefectures, southern Japan. Photo:  Shuji Uchimura/AP. Image may be subject to copyrights.

Video Clips

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Two Volcanoes Erupt in Japan

Posted by feww on February 2, 2009

Japan’s Asama volcano and Mount Sakurajima erupted early Monday, Asama spewing hot rocks and raining ash as far away as Tokyo.

Residents in population centers near Mount Asama about 150 kilometers (95 miles) northwest of Tokyo were advised to wear masks as Asama ejected fumes, hot rocks and ash about 1:51 am local time, spewing lava shortly afterward.

White smoke rises from Mount Asama in Tsumagoi, about 140 km (87 miles) northwest of Tokyo, Feb. 2, 2009. The volcano in central Japan erupted on Monday, spewing hot rocks and ash, but there was no major damage in the sparsely populated vicinity, the Japan Meteorological Agency said.  (Xinhua/Reuters Photo). Image may be subject to copyright.

The 2,568-meter (8,425-foot) volcano ejected a plume of fumes and ash about 2km into the air, covering the towns at the foot of Mt Asama with white volcanic ash.  The volcanic ash also reached Tokyo, traveling as far as Yokohama city southeast of Japan’s capital.

Mount Asama has been active for several thousand years, and frequently ejects small amounts of ash from its crater. It last erupted in August 2008, however, its last major eruption occurred on September 1, 2004, spewing hot rock and sprinkling ash as far as 180 km away, and causing damage to crops.  In 1783 it erupted violently causing extensive damage to property and killing as many as 2,000 people.

Japan’s meteorological agency also reported that Mount Sakurajima, a 1,117-metre (3,686-foot) volcano, had erupted eight times between Sunday evening and early Monday Morning.

Home to some 108 active volcanoes, Japan sits atop the Eurasian, Pacific, Philippine and North American tectonic plates whose movements cause numerous earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. The country experiences about 20 percent of the world’s major earthquakes of magnitude 6 or greater.

Asama, Honshu’s most active volcano, overlooks the resort town of Karuizawa, 140 km NW of Tokyo. The volcano is located at the junction of the Izu-Marianas and NE Japan volcanic arcs. The modern cone of Maekake-yama forms the summit of the volcano and is situated east of the horseshoe-shaped remnant of an older andesitic volcano, Kurofu-yama, which was destroyed by a late-Pleistocene landslide about 20,000 years before present (BP). Growth of a dacitic shield volcano was accompanied by pumiceous pyroclastic flows, the largest of which occurred about 14,000-11,000 years BP, and by growth of the Ko-Asama-yama lava dome on the east flank. Maekake-yama, capped by the Kama-yama pyroclastic cone that forms the present summit of the volcano, is probably only a few thousand years old and has an historical record dating back at least to the 11th century AD. Maekake-yama has had several major plinian eruptions, the last two of which occurred in 1108 (Asama’s largest Holocene eruption) and 1783 AD. Caption: Global Volcanism program. Photo by Richard Fiske, 1961 (Smithsonian Institution).

Sakura-jima, one of Japan’s most active volcanoes, is a post-caldera cone of the Aira caldera at the northern half of Kagoshima Bay. Eruption of the voluminous Ito pyroclastic flow accompanied formation of the 17 x 23 km wide Aira caldera about 22,000 years ago. The smaller Wakamiko caldera was formed during the early Holocene in the NE corner of the Aira caldera, along with several post-caldera cones. The construction of Sakura-jima began about 13,000 years ago on the southern rim of Aira caldera and built an island that was finally joined to the Osumi Peninsula during the major explosive and effusive eruption of 1914. Activity at the Kita-dake summit cone ended about 4850 years ago, after which eruptions took place at Minami-dake. Frequent historical eruptions, recorded since the 8th century, have deposited ash on Kagoshima, one of Kyushu’s largest cities, located across Kagoshima Bay only 8 km from the summit. The largest historical eruption took place during 1471-76.
Caption: GVP

Copyrighted photo by Shun Nakano (Japanese Quaternary Volcanoes database, RIODB, and Geol Surv Japan, AIST,

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Posted in active volcanoes, Eurasian tectonic plate, Japan Meteorological Agency, major earthquake, North American tectonic plate | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Powerful Earthquake Strikes Honshu, Japan

Posted by feww on June 14, 2008

Japan Quake Update [June 18, 2008]

  • Death toll: At least 10 people
  • Missing: 12 people
  • Injured: About 250 people
  • Evacuees: About 300 people spent Saturday night in evacuation centers

Recent quake history:

  • October 2004. A magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck Niigata prefecture in northern Japan, killing 65 people and injuring about 3,500 others.
  • January 1995. A Mw 6.8 [the Moment magnitude scale, USGS,] struck the city of Kobe in 1995, killing 6,434 people, many were injured and up to 500,000 people lost their homes.
  • September 1923. The worst earthquake in Japan, the Great Kantō earthquake, estimated to have had a magnitude between 7.9 and 8.4, claimed up to 142,000 lives. The biggest cause of death was the fires which spread rapidly due to high winds from a typhoon. In the worst single incident, up to 40,000 people who had fled their homes and businesses gathering in an Army Parade Ground in central Tokyo were incinerated by a firestorm. Tokyo, the port of Yokohama, neighboring prefectures of Chiba, Kanagawa, and Shizuoka were devastated by the quake. the quake caused the equivalent of about $200 billion in damage, more than 2.5% of Japan’s GDP that year.

6.8Mw Quake Occurred Near Akita, Japan

A Magnitude 6.8 Earthquake struck Japan’s Iwate prefecture, east of the main island of Honshu Saturday, June 14, 2008 at 08:43:46 AM local time. At least six people have been killed with 8 others missing and more than 200 injured.

The mainshock was followed by a cluster of aftershocks including at least 12 strong aftershocks measuring between 4.5 to 5.5Mw as of 07:11:57 PM (time at epicenter.)

A highway bridge lies in ruins in Ichinoseki city, Iwate Prefecture, June 14, 2008. A powerful earthquake rocked rural northern Japan on Saturday sparking huge landslides that blocked roads and isolated residents. REUTERS/KYODO.
Image may be subject to copyright. See FEWW Fair Use Notice!

The following details were reported by USGS:

  • Magnitude: 6.8
  • Date-Time: Friday, June 13, 2008 at 23:43:46 UTC
    Saturday, June 14, 2008 at 08:43:46 AM at epicenter
  • Location: 39.103°N, 140.668°E
  • Depth: 10 km
  • Distances: 80 km SSW of Morioka, Honshu, Japan
    85 km SE of Akita, Honshu, Japan
    95 km N of Sendai, Honshu, Japan
    390 km NNE of TOKYO, Japan

Image: USGS

Map of Japan. Source: USGS

The local news sources in Japan have reported the quake as 7.2 magnitude [presumably using the old, or the revised JMA magnitude scale.]

Tectonic Summary
The Mw 6.8 Honshu earthquake of June 13th 2008 occurred in a region of convergence between the Pacific Plate and the Okhotsk section of the North American Plate in northern Japan, where the Pacific plate is moving west-northwest with respect to North America at a rate of approximately 8.3 cm/yr. The hypocenter of the earthquake indicates shallow thrusting motion in the upper (Okhotsk) plate, above the subducting Pacific plate, which lies at approximately 80 km depth at this location.

The earthquake occurred in a region of upper-plate contraction, probably within the complicated tectonics of the Ou Backbone Range, known to have hosted several large earthquakes in historic times. The largest of these events occurred in 1896, approximately 70km north of the June 13th event, and killed over 200 people in the local area. [Source: USGS]

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