Only a few hours after the Japanese authorities issued an alert for the imminent eruption of Mount Asama, the volcano erupted at 1:51 am local time (Feb. 2nd), spewing thick smoke nearly 2 km high. Ash is falling on parts of Tokyo, 140 km away and chunks of rock have been ejected 1 km away from the volcano. There are no reports of damage or injury so far to local infrastructure or in the nation’s capital.
Japan’s Meteorological Agency has maintained the Level 3 warning (5 being the worst), preventing people from approaching the erupting Mount Asama, urging local residents to take caution. Should the warning level be raised to 4, residents will be advised to prepare for evacuation, and a Level 5 will enact an evacuation.
So far, the eruption appears to be limited, but Japan will be keeping a close eye on the situation for some time to come. Watch this space…
There will be growing tension in central Japan tonight. Mount Asama, an active complex volcano, is stirring and Japan’s Meteorological Agency has put the region on high alert. Geophysicists predict the volcano could explode within the next 48 hours, possibly powerful enough to blast rocks from its peak, causing damage up to four kilometres away.
Mount Asama is infamous for the 1783 eruption that devastated the region straddling the Gunma and Nagano prefectures, killing 1,500 people. Since then, Asama has remained active, with a significant eruption in 1972. However, 2004 did see the volcano explode, ejecting volcanic material up to 200 km away, but very little damage was caused.
Building seismic activity in the area suggested an imminent eruption, prompting the authorities to raise the threat level to a 3 out of 5. A Level 3 alert means that there could be significant damage caused to nearby non-residential areas and a no-go zone has been imposed. This is the first time the Meteorological Agency has used the volcanic warning levels since they were adopted in December 2007… Continue reading “Mount Asama Eruption Imminent, Japan on High Alert (Update)”