Japan is a nation of islands and there are also several volcanoes located here that erupt periodically throughout the year. It has over 100 volcanoes specifically and the categories of volcanoes range from letters A through C. One of the most devastating volcano eruptions in Japan was Mt. Unzen in 1792 and this volcano along with Mt. Sakurajima are considered highly dangerous to the country’s population. On average Japan gets 10 eruptions annually but occasionally it may be more than this. The volcanoes that have the most activity in Japan are Mount Meakan, Mount Asama, Torishima and Oyama.
Recent Volcano Eruption Gives Way to New Island in Japan
In November of last year, a volcano eruption had occurred due to some minor earthquakes in Japan and as a result a new island arose, and this island is a part of the Bonin Islands, a group of islands that are formed from volcanic eruptions. It is also interesting to note that Iwo Jima also came as the resut of a volcano eruption. Some foreign policy experts are saying that should this island stick around long term, this may fuel territorial battles between Japan and China.
Environmental Impact of Volcano Eruptions in Japan
Here is how volcano eruptions in Japan can be an environmental concern. The smoke, ash and debris from the eruptions could be a health hazard to those who live near the volcano and even the entire country itself. This is bad news for Japan because the country is still trying to recover from the explosion at a nuclear power plant in 2011, and there are real fears about how this radiation has done long term environmental damage to Japan.
About Eruptions From Sakurajima Volcano
Sakurajima is one of the most active Japanese volcanoes that was formed 13,000 years ago and it became connected to the country’s mainland following a 1914 volcano. Each time Sakurajima erupted over the past few thousand years, it caused huge outflows of lava that led to the altering of Japan’s coastline and the 1914 eruption was the most dangerous in this volcano’s history. When the 1914 eruption occurred 18 villages were destroyed and 2,500 buildings were gone. Even some years after this violent eruption the effects continued. In the 1970s and 1980s small eruptions from this volcano caused problems with traffic and shock waves.
Eruption Near Mt. Fuji
Although there has not been a dangereous volcano eruption near Mt. Fuji in recent years, some Japanese policymakers from various prefectures stated in a forecasting meeting that should an eruption happen there, close to 800,000 residents will need to evacuate and relocate elsewhere. This estimate was based on simulations of the outflows of lava from the potential eruption as well as the outflow of ash and gas.
While Japan’s volcanoes are a beautiful thing to see, it becomes an environmental hazard when volcano eruptions occur. If you are visiting a part of Japan that is near a volcano, you should research safety guidelines so that you will know what to do should an eruption occur.