Japan’s Sakurajima volcano releasing largest amount of ash in 20 years: ground swollen around volcano

Friday, August 17, 2012
By Paul Martin

August 17, 2012

JAPAN – Sakurajima Volcano has been steadily erupting for some time now. So much so that residents were asked to cover up and wear masks as a health and safety measure. According to researchers, this active volcano in Kagoshima Prefecture could release its largest amount of ash in two decades this year alone. Going by the current stats available, the mountain has already spewed enough ash from January to July, amounting to twice the amount emitted in all of last year. Masato Iguchi, a professor at the Sakurajima Volcano Research Center said that last year saw a record number of eruptions as well. The ground around Sakurajima indicates the buildup of magma and appears swollen. And if Sakurajima keeps being as active it is right now, we can expect the amount of ash expelled to be a new record. In the past two decades this year’s activity of explosions and ash fall have both risen dramatically. As a part of the Kyoto University’s disaster reduction research institute, keeping a tab on such stats is imperative to avoid another Pompeii. You may recollect the 1914 eruption as one of the deadliest one that killed 58 people. Presently, Minamidake crater erupted last month for the first time in about a year and a half and the Showa crater has been active since 2008. –Japan Daily Press

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