Fears grow in Japan as volcanic eruptions intensify

February 9, 2011JAPAN – Two volcanoes on Japan’s southern island of Kyushu erupted on Tuesday. A volcano at Sakurajima, the Minamidake crater, erupted early Tuesday followed by an eruption at Shinmoedake in the afternoon. Shinmoedake erupted for the first time in 52 years last month and has erupted more than ten times since. Amid growing fears that a massive eruption could still be on its way, the latest eruptions covered nearby villages with rocks and ash. The two volcanoes spewed plumes of smoke and ash up to 2-thousand meters into the air resulting in multiple injuries and destroyed homes. According to Japan’s Meteorological Agency, a lava dome in the Shinmoedake crater is growing and could spill out creating a lava flow. Authorities therefore are maintaining a restricted zone of four kilometers around the volcano. A level 3 alert is being maintained for both regions with 5 being the highest level when evacuations are carried out. And volcanic experts are warning that the recent eruptions on Shinmoedake and other peaks in Japan resemble the highly destructive blasts that occurred 300 years ago which killed more than 30 people. –Arirang News
 The Japanese Pacific Islands have been hit with 9 major earthquakes in a 24-hour period. See: Japan entering new period of geological upheaval
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