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Mt Fuji volcano (Japan): signs of volcanic unrest reported

Sat, 18 Feb 2012, 10:42
10:42 AM | BY: T
Reports are appearing about unrest and signs of a possible awakening of Mt Fuji volcano in Japan.
According to a report which includes an unclear photo of the area, a row of new craters, the largest 50 m in diameter, has appeared on the eastern flank of the volcano at 2200 m elevation. Steam was observed erupting from these vents.
The observation joins other signs suggesting a gradual reawakening: A swarm of earthquakes including 4 of magnitude 5 have occurred northeast of Mt Fuji on and after 28 January. An earlier 6.4M quake occurred under the volcano on 15 March 2011. The report also mentions increased activity from a fumarole vent at 1500 m elevation and hot spring areas at the eastern flank observed since 2003.
These locations seem to be aligned geographically, and are probably connected. Dr. Masaaki Kimura of Ryukyu University is quoted to admit that there is an increased risk of and eruption on the eastern flank and that the status of the volcano should be closely monitored.
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